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Mariko DeWire M.D. of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Earns Research Grant for Childhood Cancer Research

Grant awarded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation through Northwestern Mutual Foundation provides funding for childhood cancer research


Thomas Sperber of Northwestern Mutual’s Cincinnati office will present a $20,000 quality of care grant to Mariko DeWire M.D., a local pediatric oncologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, as part of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation Childhood Cancer Community Grant Program.

The grant, awarded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), Northwestern Mutual’s nonprofit partner dedicated to finding new treatments and ultimately cures for all kids with cancer, was one of seven grants awarded to childhood cancer researchers across the country, totaling nearly $130,000.

“Childhood cancer affects all communities. Local researchers and practitioners, and the kids and families they are helping, need our support as they work diligently to find life-saving cures,” said Sperber of Northwestern Mutual-Cincinnati. “Through our support, Dr. DeWire can continue her passionate quest to help families and kids get closer to better treatments that fight against childhood cancer.”

The grants funded by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation will support existing pediatric oncology research programs and potentially cover costs for research personnel, equipment or supplies, or related educational programs such as conferences, seminars or meeting and associated travel.

Earlier this year, Northwestern Mutual financial representatives nominated local researchers in select communities to be awarded small grants funding up to $20,000 for research. Although Northwestern Mutual financial representatives nominated candidates for this grant, ALSF alone used their criteria and expertise to review, assess and award grants.

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children younger than 15 in the U.S., and Northwestern Mutual is committed to accelerating the search for cures to childhood cancers and to providing support to families battling the disease. Through a variety of initiatives, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and fundraising efforts led by financial representatives across the country have contributed more than $6 million for the cause.

Northwestern Mutual partners with ALSF to support childhood cancer research. The national nonprofit works directly with doctors, researchers and nurses in communities to identify the specific challenges they face in bringing new treatments to and caring for children with cancer. The distribution of grants has allowed doctors and nurses to speed up the process of bringing the latest and most promising life-saving treatments to seriously ill children.

“Through our grants, we encourage researchers to push their research forward toward breakthroughs in childhood cancers and ultimately, new clinical interventions,” said Jay Scott, co-executive director of ALSF.

The researchers and their grants are as follows:

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center - Cincinnati, Ohio

Mariko DeWire M.D.

Health Related Quality of Life in Pediatric CNS Malignancies: A Feasibility Study Utilizing PROMIS

Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital - Columbus, Ohio (2 Grants)

Timothy Cripe, M.D, Ph.D.

The Study of the Tumor Microenvironment in Pediatric Solid Cancers

Nilay Shah M.D.

Elucidation of Neuroblastoma Tumorigenesis Using Zebrafish Models of Disease

University of Texas – Houston, Texas

Derek West, M.D.

Use of Magnetic Resonance Spectopscopy (MRS) in the Radiogenomic Evaluation of

Childhood Neuroblastoma

Riley Children’s Foundation/on behalf of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health - Indianapolis, Indiana

Karen Moody, M.D.

Integrative Medicine and Palliative Care Team: Complimentary Therapies for Children with


Indiana University - Indianapolis, Indiana

Yan Liu, Ph.D.

Targeting PRL2 in Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

University of Kentucky Research Foundation – Lexington, Kentucky

Tom Badgett, M.D., Ph.D.

Phase I Trial of Eribulin in Combination with Oral Irinotecan for Adolescent and

Young Adult Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors

Research funded by ALSF has been featured in The New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Molecular Therapy, AACR Journal, Oncogene, Nature, among others. For more information on ALSF’s grant programs, visit

About Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given nearly $270 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination.

About Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years. Our financial representatives build relationships with clients through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution. With more than $217 billion in assets, $26 billion in revenues and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.2 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $80 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 450 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit


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