Alumnus Honors His Father, His Field and His Training by Riding in VeloSano


In the summer of 2020, Joseph A. Bauer, PhD (RES/I’00) received an email announcing that a new Alumni VeloSano team was being formed to raise funds for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. “I had been thinking that this might be something I should do when, that same week, my dad called to tell me that he had just been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive type of brain cancer,” he says. “I went right to the VeloSano site and signed up.”


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Participating for the first time in the annual event, held in July, Dr. Bauer rode 25 miles and exceeded the VeloSano 25-mile goal of $1,000. As a cancer drug researcher, he hoped to further the work of his colleagues in the field. As a devoted son, he wanted to honor his father, Joseph F. Bauer.

Joseph F. Bauer, father of Dr. Bauer, and alum Dr. Bauer

“I’m a big supporter of cancer research, and I know how extremely competitive it is to get funding, which has been going down for the last 10 years,” Dr. Bauer says. “For some reason, I had never thought about participating in VeloSano, but when cancer hit close to home, it was completely different. I’m now committed to VeloSano, and I dedicated that ride to my dad.” His father died soon thereafter, in October 2020, at the age of 70.

Dr. Bauer had been in cancer drug research for over 20 years by the time he rode in VeloSano. After completing his training at Cleveland Clinic in 2000, he was hired as one of the youngest staff scientists at the Taussig Cancer Institute. His work there in drug design and the development of novel drugs, with an emphasis on targeted drug delivery, earned him a Cleveland Clinic Innovator Award in 2004.


In 2009, Dr. Bauer left Cleveland Clinic to found the Bauer Research Foundation Inc. His fields of specialization include signal transduction pathways/apoptosis, cobalamin chemistry, molecular biology, oncology research, and the biochemistry of nitric oxide. He has received over $5 million in grant support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and various other foundations for research pertaining to a novel anticancer drug he invented. He also has three U.S. patents and over 25 foreign patents and is an author of more than 100 abstracts and manuscripts. He serves as an academic editor for the scientific journal PLoS ONE and is an invited editorial reviewer for many cancer medicine journals, including the American Association for Cancer Research journals and the journals of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Bauer currently is the founder and director of laboratory services at Nitric Oxide Services, LLC, which focuses on nitric oxide as both a treatment and biomarker of disease in the fields of cardiology, immunology, pulmonology, oncology and inflammatory diseases.

He credits his training at Cleveland Clinic for his successful career. “Because of my fellowship in immunology at the Lerner Research Institute, I was able to go on to the Taussig Cancer Institute in cancer drug discovery,” he says. “Cleveland Clinic really gave me my start. The teachers and clinicians I met as part of my training were some of the topnotch individuals in their fields in the country.”

Among his most influential mentors, he says, were Andrew Larner, MD, PhD (Staff’97); George Stark, PhD (Staff’92); Thomas Hamilton, PhD (Staff’87); Warren “Skip” Heston, PhD (RES/CB’99); Michael Vogelbaum, MD, PhD (Staff’99); Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PHD (Staff’01); Daniel Lindner, MD, PhD (Staff’99); Ernest C. Borden, MD (MEDONC’98); Maurie Markman, MD (Staff’92); and Ronald Bukowski, MD (IM’73, H/O’75).

To recognize his Cleveland Clinic education, Dr. Bauer plans to increase his commitment to VeloSano this year by joining the 50-mile ride. “Participating in VeloSano is a way that I can give back and say, as an alumnus, ‘thank you for giving me the foundation for my career.’ I’m very proud of my training at Cleveland Clinic, and maybe other alumni will think of riding for Cleveland Clinic as a way of showing how proud they are, too. It’s a way of showing that our Cleveland Clinic experience helped pave the way for us.”


Alumni who are passionate about patient care and medical research and looking for a fun way to support both should consider joining Joseph A. Bauer, PhD, and the rest of the VeloSano Alumni Team this year. Register for VeloSano 2021 here:

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