GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer announced the recipients of its 2019 Young Innovators Team Awards.
The awards are designed to encourage creative, multidisciplinary, high-impact research that is typically not selected for federal funding but has the potential for near-term benefits for patients with lung cancer. They also are intended to foster collaboration among young researchers — preferably across institutions — in hopes of yielding outcomes that can be moved quickly from the lab to the clinic.
“The lack of institutional research funding for lung cancer creates a disincentive for talented young scientists and doctors to pursue research in this area, but we are working to change that through this partnership and joint award,” Bonnie J. Addario, co-founder and chair of GO2 Foundation, said in a press release. “That is why we created [this award program] — to support researchers who look beyond current methodologies of treating lung cancer.”
This year, the foundation awarded $500,000 in grants to two teams of investigators.
Jessie Yanxiang Guo, PhD, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and Shawn M. Davidson, PhD, of Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, received an award for their proposal to examine the interaction of tumor cells and immune cells for growth of KRAS-driven non-small cell lung cancer. Their goal is to develop strategies that can overcome immunotherapy resistance among patients with this lung cancer subtype.
Matthew Bott, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Tuomas Tammela, MD, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medical College, received an award for their proposal, which will focus on age-related determinants of initiation, progression and immunotherapy response in NSCLC. Their preliminary data suggest key differences in lung cancer development and progression between younger and older individuals, and the researchers hypothesize that lung cancer has different natural histories and susceptibilities to therapy in these groups.
“These exciting proposals by talented young doctors and scientists address ongoing challenges in the field of lung cancer, bringing us closer to finding new treatments for a disease that takes more lives than colon, breast and pancreatic cancers combined,” Laurie Fenton Ambrose, co-founder, president and CEO of GO2 Foundation, said in the release.