The RUNX1 Research Program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to advocacy and advancing areas of research of particular importance to families affected by RUNX1-FPD.
The RUNX1 Research Program has partnered with two renowned cancer foundations to extend our organization’s reach and potential. We have partnered with the renowned childhood cancer foundation, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), in order to raise awareness and accelerate research of RUNX1-FPD. ALSF is committed to creating opportunities for new and innovative research into treatments and cures for childhood cancers. Additionally, we have partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to launch a competitive grant to advance the understanding and treatment therapies of familial RUNX1 mutations leading to leukemia.
The RUNX1 Research Program was created in 2015 by Tim and Monica Babich, currently co-directors of the Program. Funding comes primarily from the Babich Family Foundation. In October 2018 the Program hired Katrin Ericson, Ph.D., to serve as Executive Director. In spring 2019, Amanda Eggen joined the team as our Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager.
Dr. Ericson, Executive Director, brings to RRP a diverse set of experiences that span multiple sectors of the scientific and medical landscape. Most recently, she was at Amgen working in the Medical Affairs department for close to 8 years.
During her time there she worked in multiple therapeutic areas but primarily in Hematology/Oncology. She was part of both drug development and commercialization processes working on assets in early stage clinical trials and in life-cycle management. Prior to Amgen, she was at the Prostate Cancer Foundation, where she managed their multi-million dollar scientific awards program. Before joining PCF, Dr. Ericson completed her Ph.D. training at UCLA under the mentorship of Dr. Hanna Mikkola. Her thesis work focused on the hemogenic endothelium during embryonic development. Her research evaluated both the cellular and molecular factors that contribute to hematopoietic stem cell generation and expansion. Interestingly, she used mouse models that tracked the expression of the RUNX1 gene to identify the hemogenic endothelium. Coming to the RUNX1 Research Program has brought her full circle. Her return to hematology has rekindled her passion for this area of research and offered an opportunity to make an impact on patients with RUNX1-FPD.
Dr. Eggen, RRP Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager, brings invaluable patient advocacy knowledge to the team through her experience directing community-engaged cancer research.
Dr. Eggen's career is unique and, fortunately for RRP, offers the perfect blend of experiences for the role. These experiences include roles and professional education in cancer research, community engagement, patient advocacy, information technology and social and cultural psychology. Before joining RRP, she was Research Director for the Cancer Health Disparities Initiative within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Carbone Cancer Center, directing community-engaged cancer research development with underserved populations. She led community-academic partnership development, creating forums for researchers, patients and community members to co-design research that meet the most important cancer-related needs as defined by community members. She entered the world of cancer while completing her Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Psychology at UW-Madison, serving as her father’s advocate through his cancer journey. She went on to train as a patient advocate – and then educate as Clinical Faculty – with the UW’s Center for Patient Partnerships. Dr. Eggen’s RRP role working with patients and clinicians on RUNX1-FPD education, awareness, research development and advocacy engages both these varied experiences and her personal passion for supporting families affected by life-changing diagnoses.