How funding from Swim Across America helps ACGT

Jul 12, 2023
Devin Golden

Swimmers wait near the arch as the Swim Across America Fairfield County Open Water Swim begins. The event benefits Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy’s mission is to help develop cell and gene therapies that strengthen the immune system to fight cancer without impacting healthy tissue. ACGT is helping to turn this vision for cancer treatment into a reality by funding brilliant scientists devoted to researching how to develop effective cell and gene therapies for many deadly, difficult-to-treat cancers.

The ultimate goal is to create a cancer-free future, and it’s made more possible thanks to organizations such as Swim Across America contributing to ACGT’s funding of these research programs.

Swim Across America Fairfield County hosted its 17th-annual Open Water Swim event on Saturday, June 24, at the Long Island Sound. As of July 12, 2023, the event has raised more than $350,000 to benefit ACGT.

The annual Open Water Swim benefits ACGT and the mission of using innovative cell and gene therapy research to improve survival rates and ultimately develop cures for cancer. The Open Water Swim was held this year at 96 Cummings Point Road in Stamford, CT.

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy funds innovative researchers and clinicians working to harness the power of cell and gene therapy to transform how cancer is treated and drive momentum toward a cure. In the 17 years of the Open Water Swim event, SAA-FC has already raised more than $5 million to benefit ACGT and its goal of curing cancer through cell and gene therapy, an emerging type of cancer treatment that focuses on enabling the immune system to fight cancer.

Every year, one or more of ACGT’s Research Fellows are chosen to be funded in part by Swim Across America. Research Fellows currently being supported by Swim Across America include:

Drs. Fueyo, Brown and Chen are working to develop cancer gene therapies in brain cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer, respectively.

ACGT Research Fellows funded by Swim Across America include: Stephen Gottschalk, MD (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital); Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD (University of California, San Francisco); Khalid Shah, PhD, MSc (Harvard Medical School); Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD (University of California, San Diego); Arnob Banerjee, MD, PhD (University of Maryland School); John Bell, PhD (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute); Fan Yang, PhD (Stanford University); Samuel Katz, MD, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine); Crystal Mackall, MD (Stanford University); and Greg Delgoffe, PhD (University of Pittsburgh).