NCCN Foundation Awards Grants to Six Young Investigators

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James Blachly, MD

Roisin Connolly, MB, BCh

Areej El-Jawahri, MD

Douglas B. Johnson, MD

Todd Morgan, MD

The  National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Foundation has awarded grants to six young investigators from NCCN Member Institutions.

These awardees, dedicated to advancing and discovering new treatments for cancer, enhancing quality, and improving patient education, represent the fifth series of the NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards—a program initiated in 2011. The grants will provide $150,000 in funding over a 2-year period, beginning in July 2015.

“The NCCN Foundation is proud to foster the development of six promising oncology investigators,” said Gary J. Weyhmuller, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NCCN. “The support of the NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards will indeed provide the opportunity for these young researchers to further high-quality research and improve the lives of people with cancer.”

Following are the 2015 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards recipients, as well as the focus of their studies:

  • James Blachly, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Genomic Stratification and Prognostication of Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia by Combination Mutation Status
  • Roisin Connolly, MB, BCh, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Breast Cancer: Novel Mechanisms of Resistance and Treatment Strategies
  • Areej El-Jawahri, MD, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Massachussetts General Hospital Cancer Center A Multimodal Intervention to Address Sexual Dysfunction in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Survivors
  • Douglas B. Johnson, MD, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Survivorship in Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • Todd Morgan, MD, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Tissue-Based Genomics for Risk Stratification in Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Alpa Nick, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Matched Pair Pharmacodynamics and Feasibility Study of Pembrolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy in Frontline Ovarian Cancer

Awardees were selected based on several key components, including scientific merit and study design. The studies will be managed and overseen by the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP).

Since their inception in 2011, NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards have been received by 23 individuals. In March 2015, NCCN featured abstracts highlighting the work of the third series of Young Investigator Awards at the NCCN General Poster Sessions during the NCCN 20th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care.

The 2015 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards were made possible through support from AbbVie, Amgen, Genentech, Gilead, Merck, Millennium, Pfizer, and Sigma-Tau.

For more information about the NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards, visit ■