Alexander Weingart founded the Relay for Life team, 24 Hour Power, in seventh grade, as a vehicle for him and his classmates to be change agents in the fight against cancer. The group raised $20,000 in their first year together, eventually raising over $250,000 by Weingart’s senior year of high school. This experience led him to realize there were only two drugs specifically approved for pediatric cancers in the preceding 20 years. Weingart lobbied diligently on behalf of the non-profit Kids v Cancer to champion the federal Creating Hope Act pediatric priority review voucher program.
Weingart earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in neuroscience in 2019 from the University of Vermont in Burlington. He was awarded the Kidder Medal, which honors the graduating senior who ranks first in leadership, scholarship and character. Weingart has participated in top-tier NIH-sponsored research programs including The Leadership Alliance at Brown University in 2017 and Vanderbilt University in 2018, as well as the Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at Case Western Reserve University from 2019 to 2020. He is interested in identifying and developing novel interventions capable of reducing morbidity, mortality and expenses associated with pediatric cancer diagnoses.
“Despite best efforts and decades of research, the overall survival rate for pediatric cancer is only 80%,” he says. “Only through continued research can we move the field forward and develop new cures. Most federal research funding is devoted to finding the causes and cures for diseases that affect large numbers of individuals. Even though children are only 15% of our population, they are 100% of our future. The health and future of children should be a top priority.”
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts