Funding from The Kristen Ann Carr Fund Propels the Work of World-Renowned Pathologist and Director of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cristina Antonescu, MD

Dr. Antonescu’s research centers on the deep molecular characterization of rare sarcomas that strike children and young adults. The essence of precision medicine, these critical data point to the inner workings of a tumor, and are used to guide treatment decisions. The Fund is supporting Dr. Antonescu’s study of tumors that contain “simple” genetic abnormalities, sparked through a single mutational event. So far, no standard treatments have been proven to counter these sarcoma subtypes.

In the laboratory, Dr. Antonescu and her team have developed a state-of-the-art screening technique to uncover new genetic “fusions”—when two genes join together to form a potent driver of cancer. Finding one particular fusion in several different types of pediatric sarcomas, Dr. Antonescu is using lab-based models to investigate their role in triggering cancer. This work represents a critical first step toward drug testing—and, ultimately, the creation of a life-saving therapy.