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<p>A breast cancer researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has been named a recipient of a $100,000 grant.</p>

IU Simon Cancer Center Breast Cancer Researcher Receives $100,000 Kay Yow Cancer Fund Grant


The Kay Yow Cancer Fund™, in partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, will award the grant to Chunyan He, Sc.D., assistant professor of public health at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center, during the fourth annual 4Kay Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZEROSaturday, April 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund partners with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA®) each year to leave a $100,000 research grant in the NCAA Women’s Final Four® host city. 

The race is held in honor of the late North Carolina State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who died of breast cancer in 2009.

“The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is pleased to support research efforts of exceptional professors such as Dr. He,” said Marsha Sharp, Kay Yow Cancer Fund executive director. “Coach Yow’s life was extended because of research discoveries, and she strongly believed these studies will one day lead to a cure for this vicious disease.”

Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, added: “The V Foundation and Kay Yow Cancer Fund are happy to be able to fund the research of this outstanding young investigator. Dr. He’s training and skills have prepared her for conducting creative and original breast cancer research.”

Dr. He, who studies genetic susceptibility and the role of environmental and lifestyle factors in the development of breast cancer, will examine both blood and breast tissue samples. She will use samples from the cancer center’s tissue bank and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Samples from the Komen bank are especially helpful because they are from women without breast cancer. This research will help scientists to better understand breast cancer biology and provide clues as to why some women develop the disease while others do not.  

“With the support from this grant, we expect our research to help us better understand more about breast cancer biology,” Dr. He said. “New strategies on breast cancer prevention, screening and treatment options can be developed based on these understandings.”

The April 2 award presentation is tied to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis. A goal of the NCAA is to leave a lasting legacy in each host city by bringing together the women’s basketball community.

“With the Women’s Final Four being here in Indianapolis this year, we have looked for unique ways to tie in the unique attributes of the city to assist in helping to make our ancillary events even more special,” Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president of Division I women’s basketball, said. “To be able to host such an important event like the 4Kay Run at the ‘Greatest Race Course in the World,’ is a tremendous opportunity for those who have dreamed of one day setting foot on the world’s most famous racetrack.  We are hoping the entire Indianapolis running and walking community will take part.”

Registration for the 4Kay is $20 if you sign up online before the day of the race or $25 on-site. You can register for the event by visiting

Registration the day of the race, as well as packet pick-up, will start at 7 a.m. The first 1,500 runners and walkers to register will receive a long-sleeved 4Kay Run T-shirt donated by Nike. The sizes of the shirts are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn how to participate in the 4Kay Run, visit

About The V Foundation

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by the foundation’s endowment. The V Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

About the Kay Yow Cancer Fund

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund®, in partnership with the WBCA and The V Foundation, is a 501 c(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. Donations can be made at All donations are tax deductible. For more information, visit  

About IU Simon Cancer Center

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is an Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health partnership. Located in Indianapolis, IU Simon Cancer Center serves as a regional and national referral center for state-of-the-art cancer treatment and is Indiana’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care. The partnership between IU School of Medicine and IU Health is dedicated to establishing a state-wide health care delivery system that is supported by the scientific resources and clinical expertise of the medical school.  Its mission is to advance the understanding, prevention and treatment of cancer throughout Indiana and the world with patient-centered care, acceleration of promising science and collaborative educational programs. For more information, visit

About the NCAA and Division I Women’s Basketball

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit and for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

NCAA women’s basketball is characterized by strong fundamentals, high quality of play, sportsmanship, role model student-athletes and family oriented entertainment. The latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figures show 83 percent of NCAA Division I women’s basketball players graduate. In terms of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate, which measures term-by-term academic success, the overall score is 966, well above the NCAA benchmark of 925.

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