Sanford-Burnham News Archive

National High Five Day will benefit cancer research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

LA JOLLA, Calif. , March 27, 2012

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) is one of four beneficiaries of this year’s National High Five Day and its program, the High-Five-a-Thon for Cancer Research, taking place on April 19.

Anyone can participate in the National High-Five-a-Thon by creating a profile page at Participants agree to give 55 (or more) high-fives on National High Five Day. They are then encouraged to reach out to friends and family through e-mail and social media to gain support. Individuals or teams can participate. They will earn prizes for reaching certain fundraising goals along the way.

This quirky event is organized by the National High Five Project, founded in 2010 to channel the spirit of the high five into raising money for tangible good. Jacob Feala, Ph.D., formerly a postdoctoral researcher at Sanford-Burnham, sits on the board of the National High Five Project, and invited the Institute to apply as a beneficiary for the fundraiser, knowing the money raised would be used well.

Prebys Center robotCarlton Gasior, a postdoctoral researcher, high fives a robot in Sanford-Burnham’s Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics.

“Working there as a postdoc, I witnessed cutting-edge, clinically-focused cancer research all around me. Cancer is an incredibly complex disease, and to cure it we have to understand it at several levels, from mutated DNA, to the rewiring of circuits within the cell, to the cancer’s interactions with surrounding tissue. For that, we need interdisciplinary, collaborative institutes like Sanford-Burnham,” Feala says. Sanford-Burnham is home to one of only seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic research cancer centers in the country.

In previous years, National High Five Day has been celebrated in elementary school classrooms, on college campuses, in offices, and in retirement communities. The event has spread virally and been featured by NPR, The Today Show, ESPN’s P.T.I. and Baseball Tonight, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Sports Illustrated. This is the first year it is raising money for cancer research.

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About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

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