The NIH selected five scientists as Lasker Clinical Research Scholars.
The competitive program — part of a joint initiative with Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation — gives early-stage researchers the opportunity to conduct independent translational and clinical research for 5 to 7 years at NIH.
The researchers have access to NIH Clinical Center and receive funding for travel to scientific meetings. Upon project review, they have the potential for additional years of financial support.
“The addition of these five creative minds to the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars program builds upon a remarkable foundation of clinician-scientists who will lead the NIH in producing innovative biomedical discoveries,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, said in a press release.
The new Lasker Clinical Research Scholars are:
• Nirali Shah, MD, of NCI — Shah is developing therapies to treat high-risk blood cancers among young adults, adolescents and children. Her research focuses on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell-based strategies and other antibody-based therapies.
• David Takeda, MD, PhD, of NCI — Takeda uses functional genomic approaches to try to improve the understanding of prostate cancer in hopes of yielding new insights into potential treatments.
• Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, MD, PhD, of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases — Klubo-Gwiezdzinska conducts translational and clinical studies designed to identify effective options for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules. Her work focuses on novel molecular targets for thyroid cancer treatment, as well as identification of genetic background of thyroid tumors.
• Sean Agbor-Enoh, MD, PhD, of NHLBI — Agbor-Enoh is developing methods to improve detection and treatment of antibody-mediated rejection, one of the leading causes of early death among lung transplant recipients.
• Paule Joseph, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, of National Institute of Nursing Research and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Joseph’s research is designed to improve the diagnosis, prevention and management of chemosensory disorders and symptoms. Her work focuses on improving understanding the role of sensory science in metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, as well as their relationship with substance use and alcohol disorders.
Twenty-eight Lasker Scholars have been hired since 2012.
“We welcome this year’s cohort of accomplished and diverse scientists to the Lasker Clinical Scholars program,” Lasker President Claire Pomeroy said in the release. “They join an impressive group of young clinician-scientists whose cutting-edge research holds great potential for benefiting patients. We are pleased to partner with the NIH to provide career paths for the next generation of talented medical researchers to advance scientific discovery and improve health.”