Scientist awarded $200,000 for pediatric bone sarcoma research

UCLA Health article

Alice Soragni, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, received a $200,000 grant from the Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation to support her work on single-cell profiling of pediatric bone sarcomas.

Single-cell profiling provides insights into the heterogeneity of cells in a tumor and the surrounding tumor microenvironment, which can influence the cancer’s response to treatments.

Soragni’s research will be added to the foundation’s Single-Cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas, which is an open resource for scientists with the primary goal to produce data that can be harmonized to the benefit of the whole pediatric cancer research community.

“Survival rates and outcomes for osteosarcomas have not improved significantly over the past decade,” said Soragni, who is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We need to better understand this cancer at a single cell level to help us find novel, effective approaches for sarcoma therapy.”

The team will also use the grant funding to develop tumor organoid models and perform high-throughput drug screenings. By linking the screening data to the single-cell sequencing expression data, the team aims to identify genes whose expression is correlated with drug susceptibilities.