Like any nonprofit, our main focus is on the beneficiary. In our case, that means the individual researchers involved with finding a cure for breast cancer. The research angle is baked into our three core values – local, transparent, and research-focused.
From day one, our goal has been to create value for all parties involved (including breweries and corporate sponsors) while shining the spotlight on the researchers as well. In this manner, all parties involved feel the connection that is forged by their efforts.
Shortly after receiving word of where our 2015 donations would go (courtesy of the fantastic Review Board of the Cancer League of Colorado), we knew we wanted to bring partnering breweries to the actual lab benefiting from our work. In this case, it was the lab of Dr. Diana Cittelly. The world-class staff at Anschutz (big shout out to Jerry Sinning and Allison Krebs for being rockstars!) was able to make this happen and made the experience even better than expected.
In March, the Drink for Pink team along with members from Lone Tree Brewing met Dr. Cittelly in the lobby of a research building on the Anschutz campus. After a short elevator ride, we entered a mixture of offices and research labs where they went on to explain the broad strokes of their work.
Dr. Cittelly and her team were awarded a seed grant to study a protein called BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also covered in a previous Drink for Pink story) and its effect on breast cancer cells in the brain. We had an opportunity to speak with several members of her team and learned so much more about the lab and the amazing work their doing. Overall, it was a tremendous experience and something we are excited to grow in the coming years.
A big thank you to the Anschutz team, the breweries that allowed us to fund this work, and our board member Mallory for taking these awesome photos!