In 1988, the Cancer Research Foundation received $710,264.68 from the estate of Eugene and Dorothy S. Fletcher. Under the terms of their trust, this money was "to be held as a permanent fund to be known as the Eugene and Dorothy Fletcher Memorial Endowment with income only to be used for laboratory research."
This generous gift was used to establish the Cancer Research Foundation Fletcher Scholars Program, which provides funding to individual senior cancer scientists doing cancer research of exceptional import, using income earned from the endowment.
The first recipient, Richard Schilsky, M.D., received a Young Investigator Award from the Foundation in 1986. The $100,000 Fletcher Scholars Award in 1989 supported Dr. Schilsky's work in developing drugs to be used against cancer. Dr. Schilsky, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, is considered to be one of the leading Midwest authorities on cancer drug development and toxicity. Dr. Schilsky previously served as a medical consultant to the Cancer Research Foundation.
Michelle M. LeBeau, Ph.D., the 1993 Fletcher Scholar, is the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory. Dr. LeBeau's work focuses on identifying the genetic mutations that are involved in the pathogenesis of human tumors, with an emphasis on chromosomal abnormalities. She has made significant contributions to the study of chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in cancer cells. Her research characterizes chromosomal abnormalities at the molecular level, and identifies the genes whose altered function results in malignant transformation. Dr. Le Beau now leads the Interdiscipinary Leukemia Project as one of its principal investigators.
Current Fletcher Scholars
Lucy Godley, M.D., Ph.D. - 2016 Fletcher Scholar
Professor, Department of Medicine · University of Chicago
Mutation of CHEK2 May Confer Risk to Blood and Bone Marrow Cancers
Kay F. Macleod. PhD - 2014 Fletcher Scholar
Associate Professor, The Ben May Department for Cancer Research · University of Chicago
"Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer"
Kenan Onel, MD, PhD - 2012 Fletcher Scholar
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology/Oncology · University of Chicago
“Exploiting Darwin to Overcome Drug Resistance in Leukemia”
"Development money is one of science's best resources. It requires a farsighted donor who has the vision to find the right people and let them take the ball and run with it, one who gives them the freedom and flexibility to test new ideas. This is what makes the Cancer Research Foundation so unique."John E. Ultmann, M.D.
Professor of Medicine University of Chicago Medical Center
April 30, 2010