Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Oncologist Receives St. Baldrick’s Foundation Grant to Support Childhood Cancer Research

December 2, 2016

To conduct innovative research and give more children the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, Jean M. Tersak, M.D., an oncologist in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been awarded a one-year, $50,000 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-powered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research.

Dr. Tersak’s is one of 40 infrastructure grants totaling more than $2.5 million awarded by St. Baldrick’s to support pediatric oncology research. These grants provide resources to institutions to conduct more research and enroll more children in ongoing clinical trials.

The funding will help Children’s recruit a clinical data quality specialist who will check the data collected from pediatric cancer clinical trials in real time, to provide more accurate data for researchers. Improved efficiency will enhance the ability to conduct clinical trials, ultimately translating to additional opportunities for patients diagnosed with cancer.

“It requires a significant team of people to conduct pediatric cancer trials, including those who coordinate the studies and data collection,” said Dr. Tersak, who also directs the Survivorship Program at Children’s Hospital. “We are very grateful for the support of St. Baldrick’s, as this will allow us to work efficiently and effectively to answer important questions that improve cure rates and outcomes.”

“The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is thrilled to fund this latest round of grants, which provides pediatric cancer treatment teams across the U.S. with the critical support they need to find cures and better treatments,” said Kathleen Ruddy, CEO of St. Baldrick’s. “With these funds, these institutions will be able to enroll more children in lifesaving clinical trials, and complete the studies that currently are in progress. We are very thankful for our dedicated volunteers and donors who make these grants possible.”

“Cancer in children is devastating for families,” added Dr. Tersak, also principal investigator, Children's Oncology Group. “I want to try to make the days the best they can be while walking this journey. It is a privilege to join the patient and family in battling this potentially life threatening disease.”

The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s provides diagnosis, treatment and complete follow-up for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders. The division is the largest, most comprehensive pediatric cancer and blood disease center in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia and has been a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, a multi-institutional pediatric cancer research organization sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, since 1961.

For more information about Dr. Tersak, please visit