Research Grants

BCAN 2016 Research Awards Press Release

Click here to see Your Research Dollars at Work | 2016 BCAN Grantees

BCAN is committed to supporting bladder cancer research. From its inception, BCAN has cultivated a strong partnership with the leading members of the bladder cancer medical community to encourage collaboration among all the parties dedicated to the study of bladder cancer and its prevention, diagnosis and treatment.  Starting in 2010, BCAN provided $25,000 one-year grants to support young investigators conducting bladder cancer research. In 2011 BCAN received a generous multi-year gift from Raymond and Maria Floyd, for the Raymond and Maria Floyd Award for Bladder Cancer Research in 2011 and 2012.  BCAN’s current research priorities are guided by the Bladder Cancer Research Network (BRCN) Management Committee. Our goal is to identify the best and most promising research that will provide the greatest opportunity to advance the understanding of bladder cancer and how to improve management and treatment of this disease. BCAN raises funds and awards grants to support innovative bladder cancer research to develop lifesaving treatments.

Information about applying for awards in 2016 Young Investigator Awards and Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award is available below, and in March 2016 for the John Quale Travel Fellowship Program. Please contact BCAN if you have any questions at

Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award

A new award for 2014, BCAN announces the Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award of $300,000 over a two-year period for an experienced investigator who will break new ground in the field of bladder cancer.  The aim of the award is to support exceptionally novel and creative projects with great potential to produce breakthroughs in the management of bladder cancer.

2016 Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award Winner

David McConkey

David McConkey



David McConkey, PhD

Director at the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute in Baltimore, MD. 

“Targeting FGFR3 in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.”

Read press release.





2015 Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award Winner

Cory Abate-Shen


Cory Abate-Shen, PhD
Professor of Urological Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center and Associate Director of Translational Research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

“Epigenetic regulation of bladder cancer progression.”

Read press release.



2014 Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award Winner

Kim, William cropped

William Kim


William Kim, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Urology, and Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

“Immune Characterization of High-Grade Bladder Cancer.”
Click here to view press release



Young Investigator Awards

Raising the bar on research, BCAN launched its Young Investigator Awards in 2013. These grants fund researchers who may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other scientific or research field, but are also working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational bladder cancer research.  BCAN would like to recognize the generosity of The JPB Foundation for under-writing two of the 2014 Young Investigator Awards.  The New York based philanthropy works to enhance the quality of life in the United States through transformational initiatives that promote the health of our communities by creating opportunities for those in poverty, promoting pioneering medical research, and enriching and sustaining our environment. The program was seeded through a $250,000 challenge grant received from the Gerald C. McNamara and Renée K. Petrofes Charitable Fund. BCAN responded by raising more than $500,000 in additional private funds to further develop the program.


2016 Young Investigator Award Winners

Niannian Ji Mouw, Kent MD PhD
Niannian Ji, PhD Kent Mouw, MD, PhD


The Stephen Hale Gushée Young Investigator Award will support Kent William Mouw, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for his research “Identifying Genomic Determinants of Chemoradiotherapy Response in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.” Dr. Mouw’s study will leverage new genomic techniques to better understand how these biomarkers can benefit muscle invasive bladder cancer patients treated with combined modality therapy.

The JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award will further the work of Niannian Ji, PhD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for her project on the “Role of antigen-specific immunity in BCG therapy for bladder cancer.” Dr. Ji’s study will provide key mechanistic insights into BCG efficacy in treating bladder cancer and establish a framework for rapid development of BCG combination strategies to combat BCG resistance in bladder cancer patients.


2015 Young Investigator Award Winners

Palmbos Head Shot  PARIKH_RAHUL_MD_HEM_20120703_
Philip Palmbos, MD, PhD  Rahul Parikh, MD, PhD


Philip Palmbos, MD, PhD,Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan –  “The Role of TP63 and ATDC in Invasive Bladder Cancers.” Dr. Palmbos will continue his work focusing on a novel oncogene that drives bladder cancer cells to metastasize as well as to become resistant to treatment. This work is directed at the improved characterization of the mechanisms underlying this invasion to identify pathways that may be targeted to prevent bladder cancer growth and progression.

Rahul Parikh, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh – “The Role of ATM Loss and the ATR-CHK1 Pathway in Bladder Cancer.”

2014 Young Investigator Award Winners

Sunny Guin

Sunny Guin


Sunny Guin, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado at Denver, for his project “The Role, Relationship and Therapeutic Potential of HAS2 and AGL in Bladder Cancer.” Dr. Guin will be investigating a novel signaling pathway and potential drug-able target for bladder cancer tumor formation, aggressiveness, and metastasis.

Read more about Dr. Guin’s research here.


Saito, Ryoichi cropped

Ryoichi Saito

Ryoichi Saito, MD, PhD, Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for his project, “Consequences of ARID1A Inactivation in Bladder Cancer.”  Dr. Saito will be expanding the findings from The Cancer Genome Atlas Project in bladder cancer, specifically focusing on a mutated gene in one of the most frequently altered pathways to better characterize its mechanism in tumor development.  He will also be developing a novel mouse model for bladder cancer.

Read more about Dr. Saito’s research here.



Zamarin, Dmitriy

Dmitriy Zamarin

Dmitriy Zamarin, MD, PhD Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, for his project “Defining Immunotherapy Targets in Bladder Cancer Microenvironment Using Oncolytic Viruses.”  Dr. Zamarin is examining using an oncolytic virus to activate the immune system to recognize cancer cells, and combined with other immunotherapies to combat metastatic bladder cancer. Dr. Zamarin will also work on identifying immune resistance mechanisms in bladder cancer.


2013 Young Investigator Award Winners

David DeGraff

David DeGraff, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Project Title: Transcriptional Control of Bladder Cancer Tumorigenesis. The award will help support Dr. DeGraff’s research to investigate gene expression of two transcription factors which regulate cell behavior: FOXA1 and AP2 gamma, and their role in bladder cancer risk.

Read more about Dr. Degraff’s research here.




Iyer, Gopa

Gopa Iyer

Gopa Iyer, MD, Clinical Instructor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Project Title: Identifying Predictors of Response to mTOR-targeted Therapies in Bladder Cancer. The award will support Dr. Iyer’s research to examine the role of the Tuberous Sclerosis 1 (TSC1) gene in bladder cancer tumors and improve understanding of the genetic alterations in bladder cancer to identify patients who will most likely benefit from targeted therapies in this disease.

Read more about Dr. Iyer’s research here


Sahoo, Debashis

Debashis Sahoo

Debashis Sahoo, PhD, Instructor, Stanford University. Project Title: High resolution molecular analysis of CD47-mediated immune escape in bladder cancer.  The award will support Dr. Sahoo’s research to investigate interactions between the immune system and bladder cancer specifically looking at CD47 variants.

Read more about Dr. Sahoo’s research here.



John Quale Travel Fellowship Program

Started in 2009, the John Quale Travel Fellowship Program provides $1700 awards to defray travel-related costs for early career investigators interested in bladder cancer research to attend the annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank Meeting, a unique opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in the field. The primary mission of this meeting is to enhance collaboration among physicians and researchers who are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of bladder cancer.  The Travel Fellowship Program seeks to engage more early-career individuals with interests related to bladder cancer including basic scientists, urologists, oncologists, and pathologists.  For more information about this program please click here.

2016 John Quale Travel Fellows

Samuel Funt, MD, Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Matthew Mossansen, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital

Tracy Rose, MD, Hematology/Oncology Fellow, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

Debasish Sundi, MD, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

2015 John Quale Travel Fellows

Abdul R. Banday, PhD, MS, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Translational Genomics National Cancer Institute, NIH NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

Max Kates, MD. Resident, Department of Urology Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Huyen T. Nguyen, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Radiology The Ohio State University

Randy Sweis, MD, Fellow, Division of Hematology/Oncology The University of Chicago

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