Jewell Lab Participates in the Million Mile for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

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Every September, Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) MPower Professor, Minta Martin Professor and Robert E. Fischell Institute Fellow Chris Jewell and his lab members participate in The Million Mile, a month-long movement challenge that raises money to help fund childhood cancer research through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. This year, the Jewell lab helped raise $3,024 by logging 689 miles. 

To raise money, Jewell’s team asks for donations in exchange for logging miles via walks, runs or bike rides. Since starting the team years ago, Jewell and his lab members have raised over $25,000 for the cause.

"It's great to be a part of this," said Jewell. "It's a chance to help a dire cause and get out and enjoy fitness with friends and colleagues in the lab." 

The foundation is named after Alexandra "Alex" Scott, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, before her first birthday. When Scott was four years old, she told her parents she wanted to have a lemonade stand to help doctors raise money for other children with cancer, just as doctors helped her.

In addition to helping raise funds for the foundation, Jewell was one of the first engineers to receive Alex's Lemonade Stand funding for his own research. 

"It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with Alex's parents and learn about the foundation," said Jewell. "I decided it was something I wanted to become involved in at a deeper level and joined a team with her dad." 

Jewell’s cancer research has shown how engineered materials can bias immune cell functions and signal processing during vaccination and cancer immunotherapy. What’s more, the lab’s translational efforts in autoimmune disease are contributing to safer and more selective cancer therapies.

In the future, Jewell and his lab hope to continue nurturing the next generations of diverse researchers and the spirit of community problem-solving needed to tackle childhood cancers.

"Doing high-impact research is one of our goals," said Jewell. "but I believe we also have a responsibility to expose bioengineers and scientists early in their careers to both the patient and clinical side of the diseases we work on, to learn about what the families experience. It's important to create new ideas and build investment and commitment to these causes." 

Jewell’s research has been published in many high-impact journals, including Nature Materials, ACS Nano, Science Translational Medicine, Advanced Materials, Nature, and others.

Published January 5, 2024