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LI lab wins $750,000 grant to advance cancer research

Brinda Alagesan, left, a former Stony Brook University

Brinda Alagesan, left, a former Stony Brook University graduate student, and Tobiloba Oni, an SBU student in residence, work with organoids in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor David Tuveson's lab.  Credit: CSHL/Gina Motisi

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said Tuesday it has been awarded $750,000 from TD Bank to support its new cancer research facility.

The award is part of the Toronto-based bank's initiative to provide financial support to organizations that have designed solutions to improve access to early detection and intervention for diseases.

The TD Ready Challenge also highlights programs that increase equitable health care for a more diverse population.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is one of 10 winners of this year’s grants, which totaled $7.5 million.

The money will go toward the lab's Woodbury-based, multi-million dollar organoid facility, to help combat cancer. 

Organoids are three-dimensional cell culture systems that reproduce a patient’s tumor in a petri dish. They provide scientists a way to test tumor sensitivities to chemotherapy and other drugs.

Cold Spring Harbor Lab said its cancer center director, David Tuveson, helped pioneer the use of organoids in pancreatic cancer research.

The lab is establishing the facility to advance the development of affordable organoid-based clinical tests and to broadly disseminate these capabilities to clinical and research institutions across the country.

Cold Spring Harbor Lab said the facility will help process thousands of organoids to aid in the development of new screenings and treatments. 

The lab added that money from the TD Ready Challenge will be used to purchase highly specialized equipment and top level clinical laboratory staff. The lab is slated to open later this month.  

The lab's submission to the TD Ready Challenge was one of 378 across the United States and Canada. TD selected 15 semi-finalists who presented their solutions on Nov. 5 in Toronto. The 10 winners, six Canadian and four U.S. organizations, were then chosen by a panel of TD executives. 

The other U.S. recipients were the Fund for Public Health in NYC, Baystate Health Foundation in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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