CRAG Members at Illini Basketball Game

The Cancer Center at Illinois and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics teamed up on Wednesday night to help draw awareness to cancer, and while the men’s Basketball Team ultimately lost to the Wisconsin Badgers, the Cancer Center was proud to showcase our programs, people and plans for the future.

The Cancer Center provided members of the Orange Krush, the Marching Illini Basketball Band, and others with “Krush Cancer” t-shirts, and we distributed bandannas, water bottles, the current issue of Pathways, and other materials to fans as they entered State Farm Center. Shortly before the game started, a video featuring the work of Cancer Center members Paul Hergenrother and Tim Fan played on the jumbotron. The video highlighted their collaboration on PAC-1, an anticancer compound that Paul developed at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology that Tim tested at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

As the game got underway, Cancer Center Deputy Director Dave Kranz took the court during a TV timeout. His basketball skills are as solid as his research skills, and he made quick work of the layup, free throw, and three points to earn $500 for student scholarships.

At halftime, while Cancer Center Director Rohit Bhargava and Associate Director for Education Rex Gaskins joined the Illini Radio Network for an interview, members of the Cancer Research Advisory Group (CRAG) were welcomed to center court. Cancer Center members Erik Nelson and Zeynep Madak-Erdogan lead the CRAG and were also recognized for their work to bring the survivor perspective to Cancer Center research efforts.

As the game wrapped up, CCIL involvement concluded with Cancer Scholar Vongai Tizora participating in the “Hot or Cold” Challenge.

The CCIL was honored to partner with DIA and the men’s basketball program and we look forward to future collaborations! Contact the Cancer Center if you want your own t-shirt or bandanna, and consider subscribing to our mailing list to help us “Krush Cancer!”

– Written by Melissa Edwards