Two Young Investigator Awards of $50,000 each for one year, are intended to support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of. Investigators may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other field, but must be working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational research.
BCAN President and Co-Founder, Diane Zipursky Quale, remarked on the impact a program supporting early career researchers can have onresearch. “Research in is woefully underfunded, so we are incredibly grateful to our supporters for contributing private dollars to help young, innovative investigators stay in the field of research.”
Applications are open to researchers and clinicians across the United States and Canada. Given BCAN’s position in thecommunity, as well as our relationship with the key members of the research community, we aim to attract the “best and brightest” to compete for these Young Investigator Awards.
Applications are judged on the quality of the applicant’s research plan and the resources and environment available to the applicant, including the ability of the primary mentor and relevant department to provide appropriate guidance and protected time during the award period. For all questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a two-step review process to select the Award recipients. A multi-disciplinary Scientific Review Group comprised ofexperts score the applications based on the merits of the research proposals. The award review process is based on the same peer review system utilized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The final scores for each applicant are then sent to the BCRN Management Committee which accepts the scientific merit scores. The Management Committee recommends the final award decision for approval by the BCAN Board of Directors. Only the best research projects are funded.
In addition to the Young Investigator Awards, BCAN announced theInnovation Research Award in January 2016. This award will support the work of one investigator with an exceptionally novel and creative project with great potential to produce a breakthrough in the management of . The Innovation Award will fund $300,000 over two years. Applicants may apply for one award – the Young Investigator Award or the Innovation Research Award.
Kent W. Mouw, M.D.
Niannian Ji, Ph.D.
The Stephen Hale Gushée Young Investigator Award will support Kent William Mouw, M.D., Ph.D. of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for his research “Identifying Genomic Determinants of Chemoradiotherapy Response in Muscle-.” Dr. Mouw’s study will leverage new genomic techniques to better understand how these biomarkers can benefit muscle patients treated with combined modality therapy.
The JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award will further the work of Niannian Ji, Ph.D. 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.” Dr. Ji’s study will provide key mechanistic insights into BCG efficacy in treating and establish a framework for rapid development of BCG combination strategies to combat BCG resistance in patients.
BCAN Young Investigator Awardees
Phillip Palmbos, MD,PhD.
Physician-scientist andat the University of Michigan
Project Title: The Role of TP63 and ATDC in Invasive Bladder Cancers
For his project, Dr. Palmbos will investigate if the level of Ataxia-Telangectasia Group D Complementing (ATDC, also known as TRIM29), a novelthat drives cancer cells to become resistant to treatment, in a bladder is a key determinant of propensity to spread and cause death. Dr. Palmbos aims to better characterize the mechanisms which govern ATDC induced invasion and spread in an effort to identify pathways that may be targeted to prevent cancer growth and progression. Hopefully, these insights will allow the design of better treatments and tests to aid patients with the most aggressive forms of .
Rahul Parikh, M.D., Ph.D.
Project Title: The Role of ATM Loss and the ATR-CHK1 Pathway in
Dr.Parikh identified a genetic abnormality in about one-third of all bladder cancers that may causecells to survive radiation treatment and , which should otherwise kill them. His current study will examine the role of this genetic change in the development of resistance to existing radiation and chemotherapies used in treatment of . Adding a targeted inhibitor to this genetic abnormality, along with existing radiation or treatment can kill the cancer cells with the genetic abnormality so the cancer cells don’t kill the patient. Since the genetic abnormality examined in our study occurs in 1/4 of all cancers (regardless of location in the body), understanding the link between the genetic abnormality and resistance to therapy in may enable us to more effectively treat not only patients, but also patients with other cancers.
BCAN Young Investigator Award
Sunny Guin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado at Denver
Project Title: The Role, Relationship and Therapeutic Potential of HAS2 and AGL in
For his project, Dr. Guin investigate the importance of the HAS2/HA pathway as a driver of aggressive behavior oftumors with low expression of AGL, an enzyme involved in breaking down glycogen. Hyaluronic acid synthase 2 (HAS2) is an enzyme responsible for making hyaluronic acid (HA). He will also determine whether reduced levels of AGL lead to increased risk for formation and more aggressive tumors. This data could provide biomarkers to select patients for treatment that inhibits the HAS2/HA pathway.
JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award
Ryoichi Saito, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project Title: Consequences of ARID1A Inactivation in
The award will support Dr. Saito’s research project to better understand the role of ARID1A mutation in. ARID1A, a that modifies proteins attached to DNA called histones, has been found to be significantly mutated in previous studies, and its inactivation is a likely driver event in formation. Dr. Saito will also investigate whether ARID1A mutant cells may be sensitive to inhibition of a protein called PI3Kinase.
JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award
Dmitriy Zamarin, M.D., Ph.D.
Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Project Title: DefiningTargets in Microenvironment Using Oncolytic Viruses
The award will support Dr. Zamarin’s research project to examine using an oncolytic virus called Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) to activate the immune system to recognize cancer cells, and using NDV with other immunotherapies to combat metastatic. Dr. Zamarin will also work on identifying immune resistance mechanisms in and developing new immune therapeutic approaches using NDV.
BCAN Young Investigator Award
David DeGraff, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Project Title: Transcriptional Control ofTumorigenesis
The award will help support Dr. DeGraff’s research project to investigateexpression of two transcription factors which regulate cell behavior: FOXA1 and AP2 gamma, and their role in risk. Expression of FOXA1 has been found to be significant for and breast cancer patients. He will test the hypothesis that overexpression of AP2 gamma is associated with an increased risk of developing . He will also look at whether a using new inhibitor that targets tumors with high expression of AP2 gamma can make more effective in treating the disease.
James Family Young Investigator Award
Gopa Iyer, MD
Clinical Instructor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Project Title: Identifying Predictors of Response to mTOR-targeted Therapies in
The award will support Dr. Iyer’s research project to examine the role of the Tuberous Sclerosis 1 (TSC1)in tumors. This , TSC1, was identified as the genetic basis for a metastatic patient’s complete response to treatment with the targeted agent everolimus. Dr. Iyer’s goal is to improve understanding of the genetic alterations in to identify patients who will most likely benefit from targeted therapies in this disease.
Raymond and Maria Floyd Family Young Investigator Award
Debashis Sahoo, PhD
Instructor, Stanford University
Project Title: High resolution molecular analysis of CD47-mediated immune escape in
The award will support Dr. Sahoo’s research project to investigate interactions between the immune system and. He will use molecular analysis to identify variants of CD47, a protein found on the surface of many cells and also overexpressed in many cells, including cells. CD47 can prevent the immune system from targeting cancer cells. A better understanding of these CD47 variants could lead to developing new therapies for treating .