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American Association for Cancer Research Recognizes 2021-2022 Research Grantees

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is proud to announce its newest class of grant recipients.

Since 1993, the AACR has allocated more than $131 million and awarded over 800 grants to support thousands of scientists devoted to advancing the understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Our grants support researchers domestically and abroad at every stage of their careers, representing a global commitment to cancer prevention, early detection, interception, and cure.


2021 AACR Fellowship to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cancer Disparities Research
  • Ana Estrada-Florez, PhD, University of California, Davis
    “Identification of predisposition and progression gastric cancer biomarkers”
2021 AACR Fellowship to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Immuno-oncology Research
  • Natasha Pinto Medici, PhD, Yale University
    “RNA splicing hijacks anti-tumor immunity in pancreatic cancer”
2021 AACR-Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Research Fellowship
  • Candace Frerich, PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center
    “Modulation of glucocorticoid receptor activity to prevent ILC progression”
2022 AACR-Anna D. Barker Basic Cancer Research Fellowship
  • Hsiwen Yeh, PhD, Rockefeller University
    “The role of mitochondrial glutathione in tumor initiation and progression”
2022 AACR-AstraZeneca Breast Cancer Research Fellowship
  • Qin Luo, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
    “Boosting immunogenic cell death to enhance breast cancer immunotherapy”
  • Minh Tung Phung, PhD, University of Michigan
    “Early-onset breast cancer and research on the environment”
2022 AACR-AstraZeneca Clinical Immuno-oncology Research Training Fellowship
  • Max Jameson-Lee, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
2022 AACR-AstraZeneca Ovarian Cancer Research Fellowship
  • Ksenija Nesic, PhD, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Australia
    “CRISPR screens to find novel targets to overcome PARP inhibitor resistance”
  • Anna Salvioni, PharmaD, PhD, University Cancer Institute Toulouse Oncopole, Toulouse, France
    “HRD effect on T-cell exhaustion in ovarian cancer”
2022 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
  • Sung-Min Hwang, PhD, Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
    “Decoding ER stress signaling in ovarian cancer-reactive T cells”
2022 AACR-Incyte Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
  • Yun Ha Hur, PhD, Rockefeller University
    “How the aging tumor microenvironment impacts cancer”
2022 AACR-Merck Cancer Disparities Fellowship
  • Melanie Stall, MD, UT Southwestern Medical Center
    “Perceptions of LEP parents of children with cancer on care and support”
  • Yuanyuan Fu, PhD, University of Hawaii
    “Targeting colorectal cancer disparity in Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders”
2022 AACR-Pfizer Breast Cancer Research Fellowship
  • Zhenna Xiao, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    “Single cell genomic evolution of HER2-resistance in breast cancer”
2022 AACR-QuadW Foundation Sarcoma Research Fellowship in Memory of Willie Tichenor
  • Qiqi Yang, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    “Reversing multidrug resistance by targeting the PIK3CA/AKT pathway in RMS”

Career Development Awards

2021 AACR Career Development Award to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • Luisa Escobar-Hoyos, MSc, PhD, Yale University
    “RNA splicing: the ‘missing link’ in pancreatic cancer pathogenesis and immunity”
2022 AACR-AstraZeneca Career Development Award for Physician-Scientists, in Honor of José Baselga          
  • Kipp Weiskopf, MD, PhD, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
    “Unbiased discovery of macrophage-directed immunotherapies for cancer”
2022 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Midcareer Female Investigator Grant
  • Amanda W. Lund, PhD, New York University School of Medicine
    “Targeting lymphatic transport to boost immune memory and reduce recurrence”
2022 AACR-Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, Young Investigator Award for Translational Cancer Research
  • Adrienne Long, MD, PhD, Leland Stanford Junior University
    “Using thymic tissue to identify high-affinity TCRs targeting Ewing sarcoma”
2022 AACR-Debbie’s Dream Foundation Career Development Award for Gastric Cancer Research
  • Moritz Eissmann, PhD, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia
    “Identification of therapeutic vulnerabilities that promote clonal fitness and metastatic spread of gastric cancer cells in vivo
2022 AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Career Development Award, In Honor of Robert C. Allen, MD
  • Shaheer Khan, DO, Columbia University Medical Center
    “A phase I/II study of BET and MEK inhibition in advanced uveal melanoma”
2022 Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR Career Development Award to Promote Diversity and Inclusion
  • Dennis Jones, PhD, Boston University
    “Improving anti-breast cancer immunity by targeting solid stress”
  • Kim Blenman, PhD, MS, Yale University
    “Characterization of pre-existing autoantibodies in breast cancer”
2022 Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research, In Honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Pingping Hou, PhD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    “Anti-KRAS therapy resistance and pancreatic tumor immune microenvironment”
2022 Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Pancreatic Cancer Career Development Award, In Honor of John Robert Lewis     
  • Edwin R. Manuel, PhD, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
    “Targeting macropinocytosis as a novel avenue for pancreatic cancer therapy”

Independent Investigator Awards

2021 AACR Innovation Grant to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • M. Andres Blanco, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
    “Evaluating KAT6A as a novel target for non-APL AML differentiation therapy”
2021 AACR-MPM Oncology Charitable Foundation Transformative Cancer Research Grant
  • Eirini P. Papapetrou, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 
    “G protein signaling as a novel target for splicing factor-mutant cancers”
2021 AACR-MPM Oncology Charitable Foundation Transformative Cancer Research Grant
  • Iok In Christine Chio, PhD, Columbia University
    “Redox-based strategies for pancreatic cancer early detection”
2021 AACR-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Grant
  • Robbie J. Majzner, MD, Leland Stanford Junior University
2022 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Cancer Disparities Award
  • Kara Cicero, MD, MPH, Columbia University Medical Center
    “Prevalence & risk factors of MGUS in a Black Sub-Saharan African population”
2022 AACR-Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award
  • Yuxuan “Phoenix” Miao, PhD, University of Chicago
    “Unraveling the roots of cancer immune resistance”
2022 AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grant
  • Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP, Brown University
    “Integrated stress response induction by TTF + ONC201 in cancer treatment”
  • Matthew R. Sarkisian, PhD, University of Florida
    “Improving TTFields efficacy by altering ciliogenesis”
  • Stuart Smith, BM, BCh, PhD, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
    “Combining tumor treating fields with ion channel blockade”