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Newsmaker: Dr. J. Anthony Graves

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Dr. J. Anthony Graves, of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, won a three-year, $225,000 grant from CureSearch for research into neuroblastoma in 2014.
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Zac Powell, of Morningside, works on his 'putting' game next to the fifth hole of the disc golf course at Deer Lakes Park in West Deer on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. The 2015 Professional Disc Golf World Championships will be held in Pittsburgh from Aug. 1-8, 2015 and is tentatively scheduled to include the course at Deer Lakes Park in the competition. on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.

Dr. J. Anthony Graves

Noteworthy: Graves, a pediatric cancer researcher at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, won a three-year, $225,000 grant from CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to study neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects the nerves of young children. The grant will allow Graves to pursue drug targets for a specific type of neuroblastoma that is harder to treat. Graves is also the director of research education and development in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s.

Age: 44

Residence: Plum

Family: Wife, Becky Graves, a neonatal nurse practitioner; children Isaac, 11, Anthony Jr., 5, Benjamin, 2.

Occupation: Pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital.

Background: Graves studies a specific type of neuroblastoma with a low cure rate. The tumor cells have several copies of an unmutated gene that give rise to abnormal amounts of a protein called MYC. Graves believes the large amount of MYC affects cell structures called mitochondria, and he is looking for drug targets in mitochondria.

Education: Graves is a native Pittsburgher who split his high school career at Peabody High School in Pittsburgh and the Milton Hershey School in Hershey. He graduated from Bucknell University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in black studies. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1996 with a doctorate in biological sciences and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2002.

Quote: On private grants and a reduced NIH budget: “I am ever grateful. Without these private foundations, right now, the system would not be sustainable.”

— Megha Satyanarayana

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