cancers there are many risk factors that affect your chance of having cancer like age, tobacco or alcohol use, diet, etc.” Rutgers cancer institute chief medical Officer Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, who is also the director of both the LiFe center and Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center at the institute, notes Decoding Cancer serves as a national model for public health education. “As a National cancer institute (Nci)-designated comprehensive cancer center, Rutgers cancer institute has always made cancer education part of its mission. in recent years, the Nci has been placing more of an emphasis on enhancing cancer literacy. With Decoding Cancer, Rutgers cancer institute is demonstrating its leadership in upholding and advancing this cancer education mandate,” notes the doctor, who is also a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson medical School and was a co-developer of the original BiocONecT curriculum. I By the end of 2016, the Decoding Cancer platform is expected to reach an estimated 500,000 students who are using the resources inside and outside the classroom. Through a partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, the platform has garnered more than seven million potential social impressions and more than 12 million impressions via ‘liFe’long support In addition to making a multi-year com- mitment to fund Decoding Cancer, the Val Skinner Foundation brings the LPGA Tour’s top players to the annual LiFe event charity outing to raise money for scientific research, early detection programs and clinical support for those affected by cancer. This year’s LiFe event marked the announcement and creation of ‘The marsh Grant for LiFe,’ from insurance giant marsh, LLc, which is a long-time supporter of the Val Skinner Foundation. The $25,000 gift will support triple-negative breast cancer research at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey LIFE Center that uses a precision medicine approach. The project led by Rutgers cancer institute Associate Director for Translational Science, chief of molecular Oncology and Omar Boraie chair in Genomic Science Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, aims to validate a new genomic sequencing approach that may help identify a sub-set of triple-negative breast cancers. At focus are powerful drivers of cancer growth known as 'fusion genes' that are often missed by standard sequencing approaches. “With funding from the Val Skinner Foundation and marsh for this project, we have an opportunity to further pinpoint certain nuances of one of the most aggressive and lethal forms of breast cancer, potentially saving more lives. Our team is grateful for this support,” notes Dr. Ganesan, who is also an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson medical School. Through the LIFE Event, the Val Skinner Foundation to date has contributed nearly $5 million to Rutgers cancer institute LiFe center. The LiFe center is named in recognition of the advocacy of the Val Skinner Foundation and LiFe (LPGA pros In the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer). The LiFe center provides treatment and programs designed to educate young woman and their families about breast cancer and breast health. Other gifts from the Val Skinner Foundation have supported research tools and precision medicine oncology research at Rutgers cancer institute. I Val Skinner (top row, fifth from right) and LPGA players during the 2016 annual LIFE Event. ROB eRT m iTc H eLL Autumn 2016 I Cancer Connection I 27