INDIANAPOLIS -- A breast cancer researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has been named a recipient of a $100,000 grant.

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research and the WBCA, will award the grant to Chunyan He, Sc.D., assistant professor of public health at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center, during the fourth annual 4Kay Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZERO Saturday, April 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund partners with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) each year to leave a $100,000 research grant in the NCAA Women’s Final Four host city.

The race is held in honor of the late NC State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who died of breast cancer in 2009.

“The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is pleased to support research efforts of exceptional professors such as Dr. He,” said Marsha Sharp, Kay Yow Cancer Fund executive director. “Coach Yow’s life was extended because of research discoveries, and she strongly believed these studies will one day lead to a cure for this vicious disease.”

Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, added: “The V Foundation and Kay Yow Cancer Fund are happy to be able to fund the research of this outstanding young investigator. Dr. He’s training and skills have prepared her for conducting creative and original breast cancer research.”

Dr. He, who studies genetic susceptibility and the role of environmental and lifestyle factors in the development of breast cancer, will examine both blood and breast tissue samples. She will use samples from the cancer center’s tissue bank and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Samples from the Komen bank are especially helpful because they are from women without breast cancer. This research will help scientists to better understand breast cancer biology and provide clues as to why some women develop the disease while others do not.

“With the support from this grant, we expect our research to help us better understand more about breast cancer biology,” Dr. He said. “New strategies on breast cancer prevention, screening and treatment options can be developed based on these understandings.”

The April 2 award presentation is tied to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis. A goal of the NCAA is to leave a lasting legacy in each host city by bringing together the women’s basketball community.

“With the Women’s Final Four being here in Indianapolis this year, we have looked for unique ways to tie in the unique attributes of the city to assist in helping to make our ancillary events even more special,” said Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president of Division I women’s basketball. “To be able to host such an important event like the 4Kay Run at the ‘Greatest Race Course in the World,’ is a tremendous opportunity for those who have dreamed of one day setting foot on the world’s most famous racetrack. We are hoping the entire Indianapolis running and walking community will take part.”

Registration for the 4Kay is $20 if you sign up online before the day of the race or $25 on-site. You can register for the event by visiting www.ncaa.com/finalfour. Registration the day of the race, as well as packet pick-up, will start at 7 a.m. ET.  The first 1,500 runners and walkers to register will receive a long-sleeved 4Kay Run t-shirt donated by Nike. The sizes of the shirts are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.