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Baldwin Fund tours Upstate, visits with researchers to learn about Fund’s impact on breast cancer research

Upstate Research hosted board members of the Carol M. Baldwin Fund for Breast Cancer Research to highlight the work being done, thanks to the contributions from the Baldwin Fund. Over the past 22 years, the Baldwin Fund has raised and donated more than $4 million to support breast cancer research at Upstate, funding 77 grants along with an endowed lectureship series to educate physicians on breast cancer-related topics. Upstate Medical University President Mantosh Dewan, MD, welcomed the group to Upstate, highlighting not only the Baldwin Fund’s generosity but decades of continuous support of cancer research efforts at Upstate.   

Researchers presented some of the work Baldwin grants have funded, highlighting scientific discoveries made at Upstate. Baldwin research grants are typically given out in $50,000 increments, and distributed quicker than typical research grants. These allow researchers to explore new ideas quicker, providing the foundation for further discoveries. Leszek Kotula, MD, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, presented his lab’s efforts to define the role of a protein called ABI1 in cancer progression and metastasis, and better understand this protein’s role cancer treatment resistance. 

“Little grants support bigger grants,” Kotula said. “We were able to turn $50K into a $1.5 million Department of Defense grant.” 

Board members toured research labs and facilities to see close-up some of the work being done supported by the Baldwin Fund. Michael Cosgrove, PhD, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, demonstrated how his lab uses x-ray crystallography to study the structure and enzymology of mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) family enzymes and the proteins with which they interact, helping to design cancer drugs.  

“We are so appreciative of our strong partnership with Beth, her family, and the board of the Baldwin Foundation,” says Vice President of Research, David Amberg, PhD. “Beth works tirelessly to raise funds to provide research funding for Upstate cancer researchers to move toward finding a cure for breast cancer. Finding a cure is of course a stepwise process but these $50,000 grants from the Baldwin fund can push progress on those steps and, as Dr. Kotula points out, lead to larger grants that can hypercharge our progress toward finding a cure to this devastating disease.” 

Over the past 10 years the Upstate Cancer Center has brought advanced outpatient treatment, clinical research studies, and support services together to provide advanced treatment to patients throughout central New York. 

You can read more about the Baldwin Fund and find out how you can help their efforts here- 


To learn more about the Upstate Cancer Center, CNY’s only comprehensive cancer center, click here- https://www.upstate.edu/cancer 


Caption: Jessica L. Ridilla, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, who heads the Actin and Microtubule Dynamics Lab at Upstate, discusses her work with Baldwin Fund board members during their recent tour of Upstate facilities.