Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Fishy Fundraiser: Get Seafood and Support Stem Cell Research!

As you might know, in my "real life", I'm a science writer. (Well, last year I finished a science journalism master's program and I've done a small bit of freelance work, so I guess it'd be more accurate to say that I'm a recent addition to the world of science writing.) In September, I began working at the Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital Boston in a role that gives me a chance to do some science writing in addition to managing the program's website and social media. It's not often that there's crossover between my science and food writing, but today, there's a fundraiser I really want to share with you!

For the past 15 years, Legal Sea Foods has been running a holiday season fundraiser benefiting Dr. Leonard Zon's innovative zebrafish research. (The Zon lab is part of the Stem Cell Program.) To learn more about the zebrafish research – and to meet Casper, the transparent zebrafish! – check out this video.

When you buy a Legal Sea Foods gift card between November 1 and December 31, 2010, a portion of those proceeds support Dr. Zon’s continued zebrafish work. The zebrafish, which has a genome remarkably similar to our own, is a very useful research model for blood diseases such as leukemia.

“Legal Sea Foods has been a wonderful partner over many years and has inspired me to do interesting work with fish,” said Dr. Zon. “The output of that funding and collaboration has been the discovery of new cancer genes and a better understanding of how blood stem cells could be used therapeutically. [Legal Sea Foods CEO] Roger Berkowitz has a wonderful sense of science and has helped me not only with the science but also with organizational issues and aspects of the stem cell program at Children’s Hospital. It’s just been a wonderful partnership, and I have a great respect for Legal Sea Foods and for Roger Berkowitz.”

Over the past 15 years of this holiday gift card program, Legal Sea Foods has raised a cumulative $950,000, and Berkowitz hopes to reach $1 millions this year. Help him – and help us! – reach that goal while giving your family and friends the gift of seafood this holiday season.

If you’d like to make a direct donation to the Stem Cell Program, please visit our giving page for more information.

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