In the face of profound economic hardship and uncertainty, families and school communities across one of the most diverse and hardest-hit areas of our city are coming together today in recognition of their collective work to build a financial foundation for their children’s futures. 529 Day, named after 529 college savings plans, which are investment accounts specifically designed for college and career savings, is an annual opportunity to build community around preparing for college and career training. This year’s 529 Day comes as New York City’s communities — particularly its low-income communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities — are bearing the brunt of a public health and economic crisis like nothing we have seen in our lifetimes.
About 1 in 400 people in the U.S. carry mutations in the BRCA1 gene, the BRCA2 gene, or both—genetic variations that can dramatically increase their chances of developing breast, ovarian, prostate, or pancreatic cancers. With a $3 million grant from the Gray Foundation, Joan Brugge, PhD and a team of colleagues from HMS, its affiliate hospitals, and other labs around the world will use various technologies to investigate the minute changes that take place within cells on the road from health to tumorigenesis. If researchers could identify and track these changes, they could precisely time double mastectomies—interventions that practically eliminate the risk of breast cancer in these women—or, eventually, develop strategies that interfere with these processes to stymie tumor progression.