The Christina Renna Foundation presents Dr. Linda Van Aelst of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with a $17,300 check

Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. -- The Christina Renna Foundation raised over $20,000 at its second annual An Angel’s Wish Gala Dinner-Dance.  Using funds raised at the gala, the Foundation presented a $17,300 check to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) on January 16th to be used for cancer research conducted by Dr. Linda Van Aelst.

Phil Renna, Philip P. Renna, Dr. Linda Van Aelst, Rene Renna, RJ Renna, Rae Marie Renna and Daniel Renna

“On behalf of the scientists and research staff at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, I thank the Christina Renna Foundation for its financial support of our cancer research program,” said Dr. Bruce Stillman, president of CSHL. “As a private, non-profit research and education institution, cancer research at CSHL would not be possible without efforts like those of Christina’s family and friends.”

The Christina Renna Foundation was established in honor of Christina Renna, a Long Island teenager who died of soft tissue cancer in January 2007. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting children's cancer research and furthering awareness and education through the support of cancer groups and outreach programs for the direct support of those in need.

“In no time in history has the funding of research been more important,” said Philip Renna, Christina’s father and director of the Foundation. “There is nowhere in the world more prepared to do this work than Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and this is why we are proud to support the ongoing work of Dr. Linda Van Aelst.”

Dr. Van Aelst holds a Ph.D. from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in molecular biology, and performs research on several diseases including cancer and neuropathologies. Her cancer research specifically focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular underpinnings of medulloblastomas, which arise in the cerebellum and can spread along the spine. They are the most common type of primary brain tumors affecting children. “I would like to thank the Christina Renna Foundation for supporting my research work at CSHL,” said Dr. Van Aelst.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is a private, not-for-profit research and education institution at the forefront of efforts in molecular biology and genetics to generate knowledge that will yield better diagnostics and treatments for cancer, neurological diseases and other major causes of human suffering.

Philip Renna has been a CSHL employee since 1981.   For more information, visit

Written by: Hema Bashyam, Science Writer | | 516-367-6822