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Dr. J. Kimble Frazer, M.D., PH.D., Joins Children's Hospital Foundation Family

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - Campus News -
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Children's Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce a $1.025 million gift from the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation in support of Dr. J. Kimble Frazer, M.D., Ph.D. as the first recipient of the CMRI E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Chair in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.  Dr. Frazer is a skilled physician-scientist who brings innovative research in children's cancer to Oklahoma.
 
Dr. Frazer earned his Ph.D. from the Molecular Microbiology Graduate Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Dallas, Texas and finished his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City.
 
Previously, an investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Utah, his study of the immune system and clinical training in pediatric oncology make him a skilled researcher of T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma.
 
"Fifty years ago children with leukemia had a very low chance of survival; today that chance has increased to 80%," said Dr. Frazer. "Even though progress is being made, there are still un-met needs in the treatment of pediatric T-cell cancers."
 
In order to improve treatment regiment, Dr. Frazer is using a zebrafish model to uncover genes involved in T-cell cancer.
 
These freshwater fish, like humans, possess T-cells, a thymus and marrow, making it an excellent model for the study of T-cell cancer. Surprisingly, there seems to be very little that differentiates zebrafish T-cell leukemia and human T-cell leukemia. By studying fish, the Frazer lab is able to find out what is wrong genetically with the cancerous fish cells and compare it to human patients, potentially allowing them to better predict which patients have more aggressive forms of the disease and tailor treatment accordingly.
 
To help identify what would otherwise be very hard to see in the small fish, green florescent protein (GFP) was put into transgenic lines of zebrafish to help distinguish which fish have cancer. The fish that show an abundance of green florescent protein are "diagnosed" with T cell cancer.
 
Because zebrafish are easily housed in the lab, a large number of cases are able to be studied.
 
The Frazer lab currently studies four strains of cancer prone zebrafish, three of which were developed from his work. He will have a colony of ten to twelve thousand fish separated by genotype and birthdate housed in several hundred tanks in his new lab at OUHSC.
 
At any given point in time, Dr. Frazer will have more fish in his lab with T-cell leukemia than there are active pediatric T-cell cancer diagnoses in the entire United States.
 
The E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation has always provided visionary leadership in the research of children's healthcare. In order to provide Dr. Frazer and his team with the correct environment to conduct his studies and the necessary lab equipment to help carry out his research, the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation has generously donated $1.025 million toward the funding of Dr. Frazer's research program. The contribution made by the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation will greatly benefit both Children's Hospital Foundation and the Jimmy Everest Cancer Center.
 
Research like Dr. Frazer's provides new genetic platforms for the study of human cancers. By contributing a plethora of knowledge and innovation to the research done for Oklahoma's children, Dr. Frazer is an asset to the hematology and oncology team in research and clinical care.
 
Children's Hospital Foundation helps to fund pediatric research, education and clinical care, ultimately supporting The Children's Hospital in serving every county in Oklahoma with more than 162,000 annual patient visits.  All funds raised through Children's Hospital Foundation stay in Oklahoma so children will have access to exceptional pediatric specialists without having to leave the state.  Despite dedicated and steady progress, there are still obstacles in the quest to combat pediatric illness and disability. 
 
To support Children's Hospital Foundation, please visit www.okchf.org.

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ABOUT US:             
Children's Hospital Foundation, proud affiliate of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, is a nonprofit 501c (3) organization in Oklahoma improving the health of children. Since its inception in 1983, Children's Hospital Foundation, through its volunteer board and vast community support, has funded pediatric research, education and clinical programs including collaborative projects with the OU Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, OU Children's Physicians and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust.  For more information, contact Executive Director, Kathy McCracken at 405.650.1718 or visit our website: www.okchf.org.

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