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A High-Impact Partnership

June 2, 2016

The collaborative culture among scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center proved to be a perfect fit for the Edward P. Evans Foundation, a major funder of research on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Through investments totaling nearly $3 million, the foundation has supported VICC faculty members’ contributions to research on the mechanistic underpinnings of the disease, expertise in clinical care and the expertise and infrastructure needed to integrate and disseminate information about key discoveries and clinical trials.

The foundation’s benefactor and namesake was a renowned thoroughbred horse breeder who died in 2010 after his MDS progressed to acute myeloid leukemia. Before his death, Evans directed his foundation to support “transformative research” on the disease.

Scientists who have a genuine interest in working together can accelerate the pace of research, said Michael Lewis, Ph.D., president of the Virginia-based foundation. This emphasis on collaboration is a key reason why Scott Hiebert, Ph.D., VICC associate director for Basic Science Research and Shared Resources, was asked to chair the foundation’s science advisory board.

“The real forging of new ideas and of new approaches comes through vigorous dialogue and challenge and discussion,” Lewis said. “Scott is excellent in leading that.”