Alliance Beverage donates $25,000 to ASU Biodesign Institute

Alliance Beverage donates $25,000 to ASU Biodesign Institute

December 23, 2014

December 23, 2014

Alliance Beverage Charity Golf Classic supports research into melanoma detection

Most Arizona golfers know that they should guard against the risks of skin cancer. But few realize that Arizona has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. This year, hundreds of golfers at the Alliance Beverage Charity Golf Classic are helping raise awareness and advance research. Their donation of $25,000 will help accelerate the development of a technology aimed at detecting melanoma – the deadliest of all skin cancers – earlier. 

“The sunshine state brings tremendous beauty and plenty of outdoor fun, but there’s a downside – a greater risk of skin cancer,” said Gary Lederer, executive vice president for the Alliance Beverage Distributing Company. Based in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. “Since our business thrives on serving the people of Arizona, we want to do our part to help others avoid the pain and sorrow that cancer can bring,” he said.

Arizona has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that there will be approximately 1,400 new cases of melanoma in the state in 2014.

Since 1988, Alliance has sponsored the golf outing and silent auction, donating more than $2.3 million over the past 10 years to benefit an array of community organizations. 

“Seed funding, like this, is crucial to our research and can help our scientists move things along faster,” said Biodesign Executive Director Raymond DuBois, MD, PhD. “It means a lot to us to have the interest and support from local businesses and their employees.”

This is the second year that Alliance Beverage has supported Biodesign’s cancer research. Alliance Beverage became acquainted with the ASU Biodesign Institute through Fox10’s Sports Anchor Jude LaCava and the Dorothy Foundation, an organization that LaCava and his sister founded to honor their mother and find cures faster for cancer. 

Last year’s gift was presented by Alliance Beverage and the Dorothy Foundation to enable Joshua LaBaer, MD, PhD, and his team at Biodesign’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics to access patient samples and data that will facilitate earlier cancer diagnoses.

“What we’re trying to do is to support the great thinkers here at ASU Biodesign and get behind what we think is some of the most innovative research in the country,” said LaCava. LaCava is a strong advocate for open science, an approach in which data and discoveries are made more widely available to patients and researchers to arrive at solutions.

The funds will be used to determine the applicability of a new technology to diagnose melanomas earlier than currently possible.

Biodesign researcher Stephen Albert Johnston, PhD, co-director of Biodesign’s Center for Innovations in Medicine, patented a process called immunosignaturing, a breakthrough in faster and easier diagnosis of a number of diseases. 

“We can take one little drop of blood and process that on a chip that we make with an Intel®-like process. From that one drop of blood, we can identify the signature their disease status, potentially at very early stages,” explained Johnston. “We’ve applied the test to other types of cancers, but this will be the first time we’ll be looking at melanoma. The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance we have of treating and combating the disease.”

Watch a video clip about the donation. 


About Alliance Beverage

Alliance Beverage Distributing Company is a full service, statewide distributor of alcoholic beverages. With the primary focus being the distribution, sales and marketing of alcoholic beverages to licensed retailers, Alliance Beverage has become the leading distributor of alcoholic beverages in the state of Arizona.

About the Dorothy Foundation

The Dorothy Foundation a 501(c) 3 was founded to re-inspire and achieve momentum in the fight against cancer. Our perspective is that after 35 years, we are not getting there fast enough. Our goal is to provide the most up to date information regarding cancer treatments and research, to inform those affected by cancer, and to support the most promising, innovative research in the field. 

About the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

The Biodesign Institute addresses today’s critical global challenges in health care, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products and clinical practices.


Written by: Joe Caspermeyer