Local cancer award given to Janai Carr-Ascher to advance soft tissue sarcoma research

Landgraf Family and Amador Cancer Research Foundation hold drive-through Spaghetti Western to help fund award


Researcher Janai Carr-Ascher has been selected by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center as the 2021 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award recipient. She’ll receive $30,000 to support her research in soft tissue sarcoma.

Janai Carr-Ascher is the recipient of the 2021 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award.
Janai Carr-Ascher is the recipient of the 2021 Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award.

Soft tissue sarcomas are an aggressive type of tumor that can be found in any part of the body and often spread rapidly. Carr-Ascher is a UC Davis Health medical oncologist focused on understanding how soft tissue sarcomas form, why they become resistant to treatments, and how the tumors metastasize to the lung.

“I’m so honored to be selected as this year’s Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award recipient,” said Carr-Ascher. “The award will help us create new models for studying sarcomas and testing new therapies. Our goal is to generate these new tools for study that can be used both here at UC Davis and shared with other researchers as well.”

Fundraising for the Christine and Helen Landgraf Memorial Research Award

Along with the Amador Cancer Research Foundation, the Landgraf Family continues to raise funds for their endowment with other dedicated individuals in Amador County. Their goal is to advance the innovative work of junior investigators at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

The original endowment was established in 1973 in memory of Christine Landgraf who passed away from cancer, and was a patient of oncologist Fred Meyers, who now leads the cancer center’s Office of Education, Training and Career Development. The memorial fund provides an annual scholarship to a junior faculty member at the cancer center who is engaged in research related to the treatment of malignant diseases and basic research of underlying causes.

The Spaghetti Western turns into drive-through event this year

In previous years, award recipients were invited to attend and speak at The Spaghetti Western, an annual fundraising event held at Cooper Vineyards and sponsored by the Amador Cancer Research Foundation. This year’s in-person event was cancelled due to the pandemic and transformed into a drive-through dinner. When the event resumes next year, Carr-Ascher will be invited to speak.

Spaghetti Western drive-through dinners for two can be ordered until 5 p.m., June 16 and a live auction will be held virtually on Saturday, June 19, from 5:30 -7:30 p.m.  For more information, go to thespaghettiwestern.org.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 15,000 adults and children every year and access to more than 150 active clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 225 scientists at UC Davis who work collaboratively to advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to leading-edge care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists. For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.