The AutoNation Cure Bowl Makes a Play for a Cure for Breast Cancer

October 1, 2015

AutoNation Cure Bowl Featured ImageCollege football season is back, and so is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What do these two seemingly unrelated things have in common? The AutoNation Cure Bowl! In collaboration with Florida Hospital, the presenting sponsor, the AutoNation Cure Bowl will be held on December 19th at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Proceeds from the game will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Cure Bowl was announced this past summer by Annette Khaled, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine at UCF, Dr. Lori Boardman, medical director of Florida Hospital for Women, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

According to UCF Today, BCRF received the only A+ rating from CharityWatch for a cancer organization. BCRF has low overhead and spends 91 cents of every dollar it receives for breast cancer research. Khaled recently received a $250,000 grant from BCRF, and this funding will go toward her research of metastatic breast cancer. There will be over 231,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer this year alone, and since breast cancer can recur and become metastatic, Khaled’s research is a crucial link in finding a cure.

Khaled became involved in the Cure Bowl through the UCF Foundation News, a quarterly newsletter. She had received funding from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and was profiled as the “Cancer Assassin” by the newsletter. Alan Gooch, executive director of the AutoNation Cure Bowl and CEO of the Orlando Sports Foundation, was reading through and discovered her. “He was trying to figure out how to make the Cure Bowl happen and involve some local cancer researchers. But they couldn’t find any cancer researchers that would be able to be funded by the BCRF. Then he opens up the newsletter, and there I am.”

One feature of the Cure Bowl will be the Cure Village, hosted by Florida Hospital. Women will be able to receive mammograms and other types of screenings. “In Orlando alone, over 50 percent of women are not getting their mammograms,” Boardman told the Orlando Sentinel. “We hope this game will inspire fans to get mammograms and to encourage friends and family to do the same.” Florida Hospital also collaborates with Khaled’s research, providing her with tissue samples from breast cancer patients.

For football fans interested in the game, teams from the American Athletic Conference (UCF’s conference) and the Sunbelt Conference will tentatively be selected on Sunday, December 6th, and kickoff will be at 7pm on December 19th. For those that can’t come to the Orlando Citrus Bowl to see the action live, this game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network. Visit for more information.

Khaled is also profiled in this month’s Faculty Feature, where you can read more about her and her latest research endeavors. Her innovative treatment for metastatic breast cancer is available for licensing. Contact Brion Berman for more information on how to partner with UCF to bring this treatment to market.