Press Release

April 24, 2021
1 min read

NCCN Foundation presents awards to young investigators


Press Release

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Six early-career researchers received NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards.

The recipients, all of whom are from National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions, will receive up to $150,000 over 2 years to advance their oncology research.

“NCCN is committed to improving the lives of people with cancer by supporting research that is novel, transparent and meaningful,” Wui-Jin Koh, MD, NCCN’s chief medical officer, said in a press release. “The NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards Program exemplifies this objective by fostering emerging talent and exploring promising areas for study. Congratulations to all of the impressive investigators selected for these awards.”

The recipients and their research projects are:

  • Esra Akbay, PhD, of UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center — Activating antitumor innate immunity to overcome checkpoint blockade resistance in non-small cell lung cancer;
  • William C. Jackson, MD, of University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center — A phase 2 randomized trial of moderate vs. ultra-hypofractionated post-prostatectomy radiation therapy;
  • Everett Moding, MD, PhD, of Stanford Cancer Institute — Resolving sarcoma evolution during tumor development and radiation therapy;
  • Neelima Navuluri, MD, MPH, of Duke Cancer Institute — Intervention mapping to improve lung cancer screening among black veterans;
  • Deborah Stephens, DO, of Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah — Non-melanoma skin cancer among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: biology and prevention; and
  • Caitlin Zebley, MD, PhD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — Epigenetic reprogramming of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

The research conducted by the six award recipients will be presented at the NCCN Annual Conference in 2023.

“The NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipients over the years have contributed an impactful body of work to improve quality, equity, effectiveness and efficiency in cancer care, and we’re happy to continue that this year,” Patrick Delaney, executive director of NCCN Foundation, said in the release. “We’re eager to see how these leading young researchers improve outcomes for future [patients with cancer].”