Friday, May 14, 2010

Donation enables advances at Center for Regenerative Medicine

SUPPORTING RESEARCH: The Chagnon and Reid families with Scadden, Sykes and Silberstein, back row, from left, at the April 6 reception

Researchers from the Center for Regenerative Medicine gathered with Cheryl Chagnon, Heather Reid and their families April 6 to celebrate the donation of an important piece of research equipment -- the Nexelcom Cellometer Vision automatic cell analyzer. Chagnon's foundation, the Cheryl Chagnon Lymphoma Research Fund, funded the purchase of the cell analyzer in memory of Reid's son, Kenneth, who died of cancer in March 2009 at the age of 31.

David Scadden, MD, director of the center, and research fellows from his laboratory, Lev Silberstein, MD, and David Sykes, MD, PhD, shared how their work is helping to advance treatments for many diseases, including cancer. The cell analyzer gives laboratory members a more efficient and consistent way to count cells, which previously had to be hand-counted. The equipment bears a plaque with Kenneth's name and has been heavily used by all laboratories of the center since its arrival.

"Kenneth was an extremely bright young structural engineer who read and absorbed many subjects, including articles and statistics about his disease and the treatment," wrote his mother in a letter to the researchers. "There is no reason why this would happen to one so young, but Kenneth would be very pleased to know that -- through Cheryl's hard work and the inspiration that he gave -- the fight will continue."

The Cheryl Chagnon Lymphoma Research Fund has donated more than $160,000 to the Center for Regenerative Medicine at MGH over the past eight years.

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