Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Lynn Sage Foundation Continues Support of Breakthrough Research at Lurie Cancer Center

From left to right: Dr. Leonidas Platanias; Laura Sage; Dr. Marc Mendillo, Dr. Dai Horiuchi, Dr. Athanasios Vasilopoulos; Halee Sage; and Yael Sage

On September 6, members of The Lynn Sage Foundation gathered on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus to celebrate another year of high-impact support for cancer research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dedicated to improving outcomes for breast cancer patients, The Foundation exclusively supports the Lynn Sage Scholars Program.

In partnership with the Lurie Cancer Center, The Lynn Sage Foundation created the Lynn Sage Scholars Program in 2007. Since then, the program has enabled the work of several talented investigators, focusing on some of the most promising breast cancer research in the country. To date, The Foundation has given more than $1.4 million to the Lurie Cancer Center through this program.

At this year’s celebration, three Lynn Sage Scholars were in attendance: Dai Horiuchi, PhD, assistant professor of Pharmacology (2017); Marc L. Mendillo, PhD, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (2017); and Athanasios Vasilopoulos, PhD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology (2015).

Addressing Foundation board members at the recent event, Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Lurie Cancer Center, shared: “We all have a common goal here—to eradicate cancer. Everything we do and all of the support we receive makes a difference in this goal.”

“I am very excited about the future,” continued Dr. Platanias, who also serves as Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology at Feinberg. “With The Lynn Sage Foundation’s help, I think we can make a real impact on cancer. Thank you again for your support.”

“I feel lucky to call Drs. Platanias and Horiuchi good friends,” said Laura Sage, daughter of the late Lynn Sage and Foundation co-founder. “We all share a common goal, and The Lynn Sage Foundation could not be more proud of the work being accomplished at the Lurie Cancer Center to advance this goal.”

Introducing the 2017 Lynn Sage Scholars

Foundation members heard a presentation from one of the 2017 Lynn Sage Scholars, Dr. Horiuchi. He talked about the mechanisms behind triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype of breast cancer that is one of the most challenging to treat. Dr. Horiuchi and his team are building a model to study cellular stress responses that can predict which triple-negative breast cancer patients will respond better to certain kinds of treatment.

“The novel mechanisms we have found in triple-negative breast cancer are disproving our previously held assumptions about how the disease works. No one has been able to disprove this yet, but this ‘crazy’ work is what The Lynn Sage Foundation is funding. We are hopeful that this knowledge will lead to more effective treatments for TNBC,” said Dr. Horiuchi.

“Together with my wonderful colleagues Drs. Mendillo and Vasilopoulos, I hope to do something really meaningful to treat triple-negative breast cancer,” continued Dr. Horiuchi. “I cannot emphasize enough how exciting these studies are, and how grateful we are that we get the opportunity to conduct them. Thank you so much for your support.”

After the program and reception, event attendees enjoyed a tour of Dr. Horiuchi’s laboratory facilities.

About The Lynn Sage Foundation

The Lynn Sage Foundation believes innovative research is key to changing the trajectory of breast cancer. Sisters Laura and Halee Sage established The Foundation in honor of their mother, Lynn, who died from breast cancer at age 39. The Lynn Sage Scholars Program is dedicated to pioneering, young doctors investigating novel approaches to the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer.

Click here to learn more about The Lynn Sage Foundation.