About Us

Our Story

How the Osteosarcoma Institute Began

The OSI was initially conceived at an osteosarcoma expert panel conference held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the summer of 2015. That conference was convened by the WWWW Foundation (QuadW) as it approached its 10 year anniversary, seeking to assess the results of its historical funding of sarcoma research and looking for big ideas for the future.

Over the course of the conference, the evidence showed that there had been no progress in osteosarcoma treatments over the past ten years (in fact, over the past 35 years). A stark consensus emerged that the existing, traditional paradigm for seeking advancements had failed and a new paradigm was needed.

A Convening of Healthcare Visionaries

QuadW spent the next 18 months evaluating the impediments to progress and possible solutions. They conducted countless interviews and brainstorming sessions with sarcoma specialists, the broader cancer community, and healthcare visionaries. They examined successes in other cancers.

Willie, osteosarcoma patient and inspiration of the OSI
with his mother, Lisa Tichenor

Cigall Kadoch, PhD, Strategic Advisory Board Member

A New Roadmap

The result of these efforts was a new roadmap that would:


Establish a coherent osteosarcoma research and development agenda and develop the mechanisms to execute on that agenda


Further elucidate the “omics” hallmarks and basic biology of osteosarcoma, and specifically its metastasis, with an eye toward translating discoveries into drugs that improve the survival of patients


Increase the number of academic and commercial enterprises researching osteosarcoma

Our Goals


Remove Obstacles

Remove obstacles to identifying a cure by pre-funding pre-clinical studies and revolutionary fast readout trials of unexplored aspects of osteosarcoma


Fund Advancements

Fund clinical trials, translational grants, and osteosarcoma science to identify new treatment options for osteosarcoma patients for whom the first line of therapy has failed


Accelerate Progress

Work collaboratively with academic, medical, pharmaceutical, and philanthropic communities to develop the scientific landscape around osteosarcoma to accelerate progress


Raise Awareness

Raise awareness and galvanize advocacy of osteosarcoma in communities across the United States

Lee J. Helman, MD, OSI Director

Mission & Strategy

Our Strategy

Globally estimated, there are over 26,000 new cases of osteosarcoma diagnosed each year, with 1,000 being diagnosed in the United States, but treatment options haven’t advanced in 40 years. To find a cure for osteosarcoma, we have to collaborate, innovate, and translate around the most promising science.

Our Mission

The mission of the Osteosarcoma Institute is to dramatically increase treatment options and survival rates in osteosarcoma patients through identifying and funding the most promising and breakthrough osteosarcoma clinical trials and science.

Our Team


Lee J. Helman, MD


Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD

Strategic Advisory Board Chair

Senior Advisors

Michael Brown, MD

Robert Schreiber, PhD

Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP

Strategic Advisory Board

Fernanda Arnaldez, MD

Alexandra Callan, MD

Mary Katherine Clarke

Brian Crompton, MD

Lara Davis, MD

Andrea Hayes Dixon, MD

Richard Gorlick, MD

Katherine Janeway, MD

Andy Livingston, MD MS

Robert G. Mennel, MD

Melinda Merchant MD, PhD

Damon Reed

Damon Reed, MD

Ryan Roberts, MD, PhD

Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD

Bill Tap, MD

Lisa Tichenor

Mac Tichenor

Committee Members

Bret Alexander

Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM

Yang Xie, PhD


Chelsey Blanks

Operations Manager

Amy Lobner, MPH, CCRC

Scientific Program Manager

Emily O'Neal

Development Assistant

Vanessa Peterson

Development Manager

Robert Sanchez

Operations Assistant

Mashale Straker

Finance and Accounting Associate

The OSI Board

The OSI Board at their Inagural Meeting


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