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Friends of T.J. present $50,000 gift for ongoing rhabdomyosarcoma research

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Watson School of Biological Sciences student Martyna Sroka, Associate Professor Christopher Vakoc of CSHL, and Tom and Nancy Arcati from the Friends of T.J. Foundation.
Watson School of Biological Sciences student Martyna Sroka working in Vakoc lab.

Cold Spring Harbor, NY — On November 1st, The Friends of T.J. Foundation presented CSHL Associate Professor Chris Vakoc with a check for $50,000 for his ongoing rhabdomysarcoma (RMS) research. Dr. Vakoc heads the RMS research initiative at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Friends of T.J. Foundation is one of a group of local funders dedicated to finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for RMS and other sarcomas, as part of CSHL’s Sarcoma Research Project. Watson School of Biological Sciences graduate student Martyna Sroka, who is working with Vakoc on the project, was also present during the presentation of the funding.

Using cutting-edge molecular biology, Vakoc’s team is pinpointing genetic weaknesses within RMS cells. His strategy has already been successful in developing a new drug candidate for AML (acute myeloid leukemia), now in clinical trials.

The Friends of T.J. Foundation was founded by T.J. Arcati and his friends in 2009, when T.J. received his diagnosis. T.J. tragically lost his battle with RMS in 2013. The Friends of T.J. Foundation continues to work to increase sarcoma research, improve treatment, and aid in the goal of finding a cure. For more information, visit

Written by: Sara Roncero-Menendez, Communications Associate | | 516-367-6866

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