Paceline Ride, LLC donates $126,000 to advance research projects at the Georgia Cancer Center

Two men with check
Paceline Ride President and Executive Director Martyn Jones presents a donation to Georgia Cancer Center Director Dr. Jorge Cortes on Dec. 15 at the Georgia Cancer Center.

It is a fundraiser designed to bring communities together to support innovative research that could impact the future of cancer treatment for different forms of the disease. On Dec. 15, the Paceline Ride, LLC team delivered a check for $126,000 to the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. The money will be divided up and handed out through an application process for cancer research projects.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on so many levels, both personal and business. Despite this, we had twice the number of participants participating in Paceline from 2019,” said Dag Grantham, Paceline board chairman and founder.

“Thanks to the leadership of the Paceline Board, the outstanding team of dedicated employees of Paceline, and the eagerness of our participants to make a difference in the quest to cure cancer, we are extremely honored to present this check for $126,000 to the Georgia Cancer Center.”

Man standing
Paceline Ride President and Executive Director Martyn Jones presented the donation to the Georgia Cancer Center. This year’s ride was a virtual event that raised $126,000.

Each year, Paceline hosts a bike ride for hundreds of participants who are pedaling toward a common goal: cure cancer faster, together. One-hundred percent of all fundraising supports research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paceline leadership canceled the in-person cycling event in May and rescheduled a virtual fundraiser on Oct. 24, encouraging teams and individual participants to host safe, socially distanced events to raise money for the cancer center.

man standing
Georgia Cancer Center Director Dr. Jorge Cortes accepted the Paceline Ride donation Dec. 15.

During the inaugural event in May 2019, participants raised over $200,000, with the funds being divided into three research awards at the cancer center:

Major Equipment Award

Dr. Han-Fei Ding

Ding’s recommendation for the purchase of an Amersham ImageQuant 800 (IQ800) imager has been approved for funding for $50,000. This imaging system provides high-resolution quantitative analyses for multiple sample types, and its highly sensitive detection capabilities automatically optimize the best signal-to-noise ratio when analyzing gels and blots.

Translational Research Award II

Drs. Huidong Shi and Ravindra Kolhe

Their project, “Cellular heterogeneity and tumor microenvironment in triple negative breast cancer disparities,” will receive up to $75,000 upon receipt and review of a full proposal. Using single cell RNA sequencing technology, this research will address the disparity observed in triple negative breast cancer prevalence and treatment outcomes for African American versus Caucasian women.

Early Career Researcher Award

Dr. Zhi-Chun Ding

Ding’s project, “Targeting IFNg-induced CD4+ T Cell Exhaustion to Potentiate Cancer Immunotherapy,” was selected as the top-ranking proposal, to receive up to $75,000. Ding’s research aims to improve the efficacy of adoptive T-cell transfer (ACT) cancer therapeutic regimens, which rely on functional CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Using a novel model system, Ding will focus on overcoming one limitation of ACT: tumor-induced CD4+ T cell exhaustion.

“We are already planning for year three and hope to engage more participants and raise more money,” Grantham said. “My personal goal is for us to double the combined total of 2019 and 2020 for a total of over $326,000 raised in 2021. Together, we can cure cancer faster!”

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Heather Henley
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Heather Henley

Heather Henley is Director of News and Information at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-4706 or hhenley@augusta.edu.

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Heather Henley Written by Heather Henley

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University and AU Health. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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