MAY 2022
ICRF Research Explores Development of UV-Exposed Skin Cancer
To spotlight Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month, ICRF Project Grant recipient Professor Ittai Ben-Porath of the Hebrew University, whose research is among the nine ICRF-funded projects currently related to melanoma and skin cancer, discusses skin lesions in the epidermis and how to prevent the formation of cancer.
Can you talk about your research relating to skin cancers caused by UV radiation?

Exposure to sunlight is responsible for virtually all skin cancers. The UV-B component of light generates mutations in our genes that can trigger cancer. When we expose our skin, unprotected, to too much sunlight, we put our health at risk.
There are two main types of skin cancers. Melanoma occurs when mutations develop inside cells called melanocytes. While not very prevalent, it is extremely deadly. Epidermal cancers, which we are currently studying, start with the epidermal cells, which form the skin’s layers. These tumors are among the most common in humans. While many are not malignant, about one in 25 will become deadly. Since so many people suffer from these skin lesions — squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas their management poses an immense health burden to the public and to patients. Our study aims to reduce the rate of early tumor formation in the skin, and the ability of early skin lesions to progress to malignancy.

UV-B exposure can be thought of as the "cigarettes of the skin."

Professor Ittai Ben-Porath
Did You Know?
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma. With early detection, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent.
  • Ultraviolet tanning devices can emit UV radiation ten to 15 times higher than the sun at its peak.
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers — basal cell  and squamous cell carcinoma — in the U.S. are associated with UV radiation from the sun.
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation
ICRF Scientists Probe Challenges of Brain Cancer
Among the different cancer types highlighted for awareness in the month of May are skin cancers and brain tumors. In the interview above, we introduced you to one of ICRF’s currently-funded researchers who is studying skin cancers caused by UV radiation. Featured below are two of ICRF’s investigators conducting research on malignant gliomas, aggressive tumors of the brain and central nervous system that are particularly challenging to treat.
A driver mutation is a term used to describe changes in the DNA sequence of genes that cause cells to become cancerous and grow and spread in the body. Eran Meshorer, PhD, the recipient of an ICRF Project Grant at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is studying a specific driver mutation that only occurs in pediatric glioma patients. This mutation affects a protein that regulates gene expression. The experiments that he will perform should identify the specific mechanisms by which this mutation may drive malignancy, provide insights into the mechanisms underlying childhood brain tumor development, and potentially identify targets for therapeutic intervention.
Genes are packaged by proteins called histones, which regulate gene activity, and studies have shown that many gliomas carry mutations in genes that encode histones. Efrat Shema, PhD, the recipient of an ICRF Research Career Development Award (or RCDA) at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is trying to identify new drug targets and improve future treatments for glioma patients. To achieve this goal, she has recently developed a novel, single-molecule technology to study changes in the modifications of histones and related proteins that regulate gene expression, and will use it to study mutations in both pediatric and adult gliomas. Her analyses should yield new data on genome regulation in cancer, and open the way to new therapeutic opportunities for glioma patients.
Int'l Board Member "Pays It Forward" With Family and Friends Fund
International Board Member, Dr. Gerald Soff, a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the General Hematology Service at the University of Miami Health System/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, is “paying it forward” with the launch of The Soff Family and Friends Fund for ICRF. The fund's goal is to raise $150,000 for a three-year ICRF Career Development Award for a new Israeli scientist embarking on a career in cancer research. Diagnosed seven years ago with multiple myeloma, Soff is now cancer-free thanks to a scientific breakthrough from Nobel Prize winners, Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, both ICRF-funded scientists.

For more information, visit our website.
Join ICRF Mission to Israel - November 6-10, 2022

Israel and its cutting-edge research is at the heart of ICRF’s mission to end the suffering caused by cancer. Join us on this life-changing trip as you walk along Israeli streets with buildings both modern and ancient, enjoy the art, culture, and cuisine, speak with people impacted by ICRF’s work, from researchers to cancer survivors, and see for yourself why ICRF is so important. Any questions, please contact Chief Development Officer Caitlin Shmidheiser at

ICRF is Looking for a Few Good Runners
Sunday, November 6
ICRF is proud to be selected as an Official Charity Partner of the TCS New York City Marathon.

Be a part of this iconic race as 50,000 runners cover 26.2 miles across all five boroughs of NYC. Fifty million dollars will be raised for charitable causes during this event.

Push yourself to run an exhilarating race while helping in the fight against cancer by supporting Israel’s best and brightest research scientists. Team ICRF has a limited amount of Marathon entries. The minimum fundraising requirement is $3,600.

Please contact New York Executive Director Alan Herman,, for more details.
Couture for a Cure - Make it a Ladies Night Out!

Bring your mom, your sisters, your daughters, and your friends! Join ICRF Chicago at Neiman Marcus for an evening of shopping, fashion, and personal stories to support the brilliant scientists doing cancer research in Israel. Don't miss guest speaker Grace Lombardo, breast cancer warrior and subject of the documentary, "Grace," about her breast cancer journey.

For more information, contact ICRF Chicago Executive Director Ally Marks Greenfield,
ICRF Toronto Honors Four Women at 20th WOA

This year marks ICRF Toronto’s 20th Anniversary Women of Action celebration. Joan Garson, Dr. Anna Goldenberg, Holly Miklas and Michelle Roth will be honored for their accomplishments in science, business, and philanthropy on May 15, 11:30 am at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. Special guest speaker will be Shani Azulai, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Israel in Toronto.

For more information, please contact ICRF Toronto Executive Director, Jennifer Ouaknine,, or register today!
ICRF Connecticut: Improving Quality of Life
During Serious Illness

ICRF Connecticut is hosting an event, "Improving Quality of Life During Serious Illness," on May 15, 2:00 pm at the Caramoor Music and Arts Center in Katonah, New York. A panel of three experts, Dena Schulman-Green, PhD, Shelli Feder, PhD and Jennifer Kapo, will discuss the advances in the field of palliative care to improve the quality of life for both patients with serious illness and their families. This means reducing physical and emotional distress as well as addressing spiritual, social, psychological and financial issues in a holistic, patient- and family-centered way. Dr. Gary Grad will act as moderator.

Following the discussion, guests will be invited to a docent-guided tour of the enchanting Rosen House, a haven for culture, artists and the arts.

For more information, contact ICRF Connecticut Area Director David Kweskin, Register today!
Visions NY Young Professionals Networking Event

ICRF is hosting a Visions New York Young Professionals Networking Event on May 18, 6:00-8:00 pm. This will be an opportunity to enjoy drinks and appetizers with other young professionals while learning more about ICRF. The new York Visions Group serves to nurture the next generation of philanthropic leaders who will raise awareness about the mission of ICRF. To learn more about this event or to register, visit our website or contact New York Executive Director Alan Herman at
ICRF Montreal to Host 45th Annual Gala

The 45th Annual Gala is set for Tuesday, June 7 at the Jardin Royalmount open-air venue in Quebec. The evening’s honoree is Dr. Robin Billick, Chief of Dermatology at Jewish General Hospital and a longtime supporter of ICRF. Peter Rosenthal and Samantha Singer will be serving as event co-chairs. Musical entertainment will be provided by the rock band, X Ambassadors.

For further information, please contact Stu Guttman, ICRF Montreal CEO, or register today.
A Great Course for a Great Cause:
Inaugural ICRF Tri-State Golf Outing

ICRF will be hosting its Inaugural Tri-State Golf Outing at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York.

Space is limited, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to play a magnificent course while advancing a cause so important to all of us! You can help make a difference by playing, sponsoring or joining us for the after-golf cocktail reception.

To register or for more information, please visit our website or contact Alan Herman, NY Executive Director or David Kweskin, CT Director
ICRF Chicago Hosts 2022 Ravinia Green Country Club Charity Classic

Tee up with ICRF Chicago for the 2nd annual Charity Classic Golf Outing, Monday, July 18, at Ravinia Green Country Club in Riverwoods, IL. For more information, please contact ICRF Chicago Executive Director Ally Marks Greenfield, or register today!
News Roundup
Fundraise on Facebook
Celebrate your birthday, observe a special occasion or milestone in your life, or honor a loved one by creating your own fundraiser for ICRF on Facebook.