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Immuno-Oncology Resource Center

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Press Release

March 13, 2021
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Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy awards research grants

Source:

Press Release

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The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy awarded nearly $3 million worth of grants to six early career researchers.

“This year’s class of Parker scholars, bridge fellows and senior fellows are an exceptional group of young scientists,” Lisa Butterfield, PhD, vice president of research and development for Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), said in a press release. “From projects that have historically been strong suits for PICI, like T-cell exhaustion, to new areas like dendritic cells and immune tolerance, these rising stars will enable us to broaden our efforts to turn all cancers into curable diseases.”

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The recipients are:

  • Jean-Christophe Beltra, PhD, a Parker scholar at University of Pennsylvania, who is investigating the role of cytokines in CD8 T-cell exhaustion;
  • Chrysothemis “Chryssie” Brown, MBBS, PhD, a Parker senior fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who is studying how different dendritic cells influence tumor progression and response to immunotherapy;
  • Caleb Lareau, PhD, a Parker scholar at Stanford University, who is examining the way human cells change over time in an effort to identify the mechanisms and markings that predate when a cell becomes cancerous;
  • James Lee, MD, a Parker bridge fellow at University of California, San Francisco, whose research focuses on how the spread of cancer to the liver can affect the rest of the immune system;
  • Zachary Steinhart, PhD, a Parker scholar at Gladstone Institutes, who is applying CRISPR gene-editing approaches to improve chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy; and
  • Evan Weber, PhD, a Parker bridge fellow at Stanford University, whose research also focuses on how to improve the efficacy of CAR T-cell therapy.

In addition to research funding, the grant recipients will have the opportunity to collaborate with and receive guidance from PICI’s network of immunotherapy experts.

The Parker scholars program supports graduate students and researchers entering their first postdoctoral appointment who focus on high-impact, high-risk projects. The Parker bridge fellows program supports senior postdoctoral investigators as they transition to faculty positions. The Parker senior fellows program supports investigators who recently completed their MD or PhD and are ready to establish a laboratory or independent program in cancer immunotherapy.