Combining Cycling, People and a Passion for Cancer Research

By Sarah Garcia - February 04, 2021

For the third year in a row, Dr. Praneeth Sudalagunta will soon set out to ride over 325 miles during the Cure on Wheels, Inc. Capitol Ride.

Sudalagunta, an applied postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Physiology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center, said it was a “no-brainer” for him to get involved with the ride.  

Sudalagunta has been cycling since 2013, when he started his Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech, and has been at Moffitt since 2016.

“I spend most of time working at Moffitt, or biking. So, Cure on Wheels was something that kind of brought those two things together.”

Sudalagunta on a training ride.
Sudalagunta on a training ride.

The group’s annual Capitol Ride serves as an advocacy ride for funding for cancer research, and usually culminates with Moffitt Day at the State Capitol. Due to COVID-19, Moffitt Day is not taking place as the Capitol is closed to events. The cyclists will instead ride from Tallahassee back to Moffitt Cancer Center.

While he says it’s the incredible people who keep him coming back year after year, Sudalagunta also sees the ride as an opportunity to connect with patients, which is not something he gets to do much in research.

“It’s not like clinical work, when you’re a clinician, your work directly impacts a patient’s life and the outcome of that patient,” he said. “As a researcher, you’re kind of playing a secondary role. It’s something that may eventually have a positive impact, but you don’t get that instant gratification.”

The Capitol Ride team often includes cancer survivors as well as current patients.

 “You know, it’s incredible seeing some of them participate in this ride. Their commitment really motivates and inspires me to do better, to push myself to contribute in my field.”

2019 Cure on Wheels Capitol Ride group photo.
The 2019 Cure on Wheels Capitol Ride group.

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