Young Investigator Awards Support Next Generation of Researchers
Forty-five oncology professionals received Young Investigator Awards (YIAs) in 2011, thanks to the commitment of the Conquer Cancer Foundation (formerly The ASCO Cancer Foundation®) and its generous supporters to furthering clinical and translational cancer research. Since its creation in 1984, the YIA has helped launch the careers of a number of promising investigators, many of whom have become leaders in the oncology community and their fields (see complete list of all 2011 YIA recipients).
YIAs are intended specifically for investigators at the beginning of their careers, during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. Recipients must be physicians who are in the last 2 years of their final subspecialty training at an academic medical institution at the time of grant submission.
An institutional commitment for a faculty appointment at the time of grant submission is not required, but the applicants should be working in an oncology laboratory or clinical research setting.
The total award amount for each YIA is $50,000, paid to the recipient’s sponsoring institution over 1 year. Of the total award amount, at least $46,000 supports the direct costs of the research project, no more than $1,500 covers the recipient’s travel expenses related to the project (including attendance at the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting), and no more than $2,500 is applied to overhead or indirect costs of the recipient’s institution in administering the research project. Award recipients, as well as the corporations and nonprofit foundations that provide funding for these awards, are honored at a special event held during the Annual Meeting.
Five YIAs are sponsored by entities within or in collaboration with ASCO and the Foundation to recognize meritorious research projects in specific fields or with unique applications.
Jung-Min Lee, MD, of the National Cancer Institute, is the recipient of the Jane C. Wright, MD, YIA sponsored by the Boards of Directors of ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Dr. Lee’s research project will examine sequence-specific DNA damage with PARP inhibition and carboplatin. (Read this article to learn more about Jane C. Wright, MD, and her contributions to cancer care.)
The ASCO Clinical Practice Committee (CPC) sponsors a YIA to fund diverse, creative research in areas specifically related to clinical practice and patient care. The 2011 CPC-sponsored YIA is awarded to Belinda Kiely, MD, of NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Australia, and it will fund Dr. Kiely’s research evaluating an iTool to estimate and explain survival-time scenarios to patients with advanced cancer.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology also sponsors a YIA, a legacy of 1993-1994 ASCO President George P. Canellos, MD, who conceived the sponsorship of YIAs as an opportunity for JCO to promote the work of early-career investigators. Samantha Jaglowski, MD, of The Ohio State University, will investigate PCI- 32765, a Btk-inhibitor, and atumumab in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and related diseases in a phase I/II trial with funds from this JCO-sponsored YIA.
The Conquer Cancer Foundation/American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Young Investigator Translational Cancer Research Award is a result of the collaboration among AACR, ASCO, and the Conquer Cancer Foundation, and represents the ongoing efforts of these organizations to support young investigators committed to advancing translational research in cancer. Deepak Nijhawan, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is the 2011 recipient for his research project, “Identifying Cancer Targets in Regions of Broad Genomic Amplification in Lung Cancer.”
The Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), an ASCO State Affiliate, is sponsoring a YIA for the fi rst time in 2011 to support a Florida-based researcher. Natalie McKenzie, MD, of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will use the funding to conduct her research into the use of nelfinavir, a biologic radiosensitizer, to improve the efficacy of chemoradiation in locally advanced cervical cancer.
Visit the Conquer Cancer Foundation website to view the complete list of 2011 YIA recipients and to learn more about how to apply for a YIA.