SFA Awards Inaugural Last Mile Sarcoma Research Grant to Inga-Marie Schaefer, MD

The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) is proud to announce the recipient of its inaugural Last Mile Sarcoma Research Award. Inga-Marie Schaefer, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., has been presented this prestigious grant for her project titled “Identification of Therapeutic Strategies to Restore Cell Cycle Control in GIST.”

The Last Mile Sarcoma Research Award, named to coincide with the research funding raised from SFA’s Race to Cure Sarcoma series, was developed to leverage larger government dollars for sarcoma research. This grant award, a first-of-its-kind from SFA, provides $150,000 in funding to help strengthen the future proposal for a National Cancer Institute (NCI) R01 grant, ultimately, bringing the research over the last mile to qualify for funding.

Inga-Marie Schaefer, MD, is Assistant Professor in Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Schaefer is also Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Pathology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is a board member of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) and an editorial board member of the scientific journal Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer.

Dr. Schaefer earned her medical degree from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, and the University of Bern, Switzerland. She trained in Anatomic Pathology at the University Hospital Göttingen and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During her postdoctoral studies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, she characterized mechanisms of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) genomic progression and identified early inactivation of the MAX tumor suppressor as a recurrent event in GIST. In 2018, she obtained board certification in Anatomic Pathology and became faculty in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Schaefer leads a research program centered on the biology, genetics, and molecular mechanisms of sarcomas with the goal of developing novel therapeutics. She has been awarded the Sperling Family Fellowship in Precision Healthcare, the Liddy Shriver Early Career Research Award, and the Fred Sanfilippo-ASIP Visiting Lectureship Award.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) represent a challenging subset of sarcomas, necessitating innovative solutions for treatment. Dr. Schaefer’s research endeavors to deepen our comprehension of GIST and pioneer novel therapeutic approaches aimed at reinstating cell cycle control, potentially leading to enhanced patient outcomes.

“The Sarcoma Foundation of America is excited to award this inaugural Last Mile Research Grant to Dr. Schaefer,” says Brandi Felser, SFA CEO. “As the leading private funder of research in the sarcoma community, this award reflects SFA’s dedication to sarcoma research and its mission to advance the field.”

For more information about SFA and its research initiatives, visit www.curesarcoma.org/sarcoma-research.

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About the Sarcoma Foundation of America
The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, is an advocate for increased research to find new and better therapies with which to treat patients with sarcoma. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of sarcoma patients. For more information, please visit www.curesarcoma.org.

About Sarcoma
Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults (1 percent of all adult cancers) but rather prevalent in children (about 15% of all childhood cancers). At any one time, 200,000 patients and their families are struggling with sarcoma. Every year, nearly 17,370 new cases are diagnosed and more than 7,280 people die from the disease.