CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Researchers at the University of Virginia now have more money to help battle childhood cancer thanks to a grant from Hyundai.

Children's cancer researcher Dr. Brian Belyea received the $300,000 grant from the Hyundai Hope on Wheels program at an event Monday morning. The money will help Belyea figure out what starts the development of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia - which he says is the most common cancer found in children.

Belyea says that figuring out how cancer starts is often difficult because a diagnosis is not made when cells begin to form. He says the grant money can help him take the research out of the lab.

"We'll be able to use models where we can understand those early events," Belyea said. "We've made some discoveries in our lab and now we hope to extend those findings to our patients to see if indeed the same things are happening."

Some of Belyea's current and former patients were on hand to celebrate the grant with him. Patients who have worked with Belyea painted their hands and marked his new coat, and a car as part of the Hope on Wheels event.

Monday's event was one of 76 grant ceremonies Hyundai is holding across the county for cancer research this year. In total, $160 million has gone to cancer research since that program started.