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American Association for Cancer Research Recognizes New 2020-2021 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 $480 million and awarded over 890 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.


2020 AACR-AstraZeneca Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants

  • Francesca Citron, PharmD, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    “Unraveling the mechanism of DPY30 in pancreatic cancer”
  • Francisca Nunes de Almeida, PhD, Columbia University
    “Targeting DNA damage repair in neuroendocrine prostate cancer”

2020 AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants

  • Dobeen Hwang, PhD, The Scripps Research Institute
    “Dual payload ADCs designed for mitigating cancer resistance”
  • Mari Nakamura, PhD, University of California, San Diego
    “Defining molecular dependencies of pancreatic adenosquamous carcinoma”

2021 AACR-Amgen Fellowship in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research

  • Ferran Nadeu, PhD, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer
    “Tracking the progression and transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia”

2021 AACR-AstraZeneca Breast Cancer Research Fellowships

  • Xue-Yan He, PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    “Targeting stress-induced neutrophil extracellular traps prevents metastasis”
  • Samantha Van Nest, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
    “The impact of hypoxia on radiation induced anti-cancer immunity”

2021 AACR-AstraZeneca Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship

  • Raphael Mattiuz, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    “Determining the regulation and role of mreg DC in tumor immunity”

2021 AACR-AstraZeneca Lung Cancer Research Fellowship

  • Joseph Minhow Chan, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    “Uncovering drivers of small cell transformation at single-cell level”

2021 AACR-AstraZeneca Lymphoma Research Fellowship

  • Joseph G. Schroers-Martin, MD, Stanford University
    “Noninvasive early detection & characterization of post-transplant lymphoma”

2021 AACR-Bayer Clinical Oncology Research (CORE) Training Fellowship

  • Praful Ravi, MB, BChir, MRCP, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

2021 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Cancer Disparities Research Fellowship

  • Kyle A. Cottrell, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
    “Addressing breast cancer disparities by targeting ADAR”

2021 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship

  • Kelly P. Burke, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    “Dissecting CTLA-4 and PD-1 cooperation in tumor immunity and adverse events”

2021 AACR-Exelixis Renal Cell Carcinoma Research Fellowship

  • Romero Rodrigo, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    “Modeling renal cell carcinomagenesis using engineered renal organoids”

2021 AACR-Genentech Cancer Disparities Research Fellowships

  • Francisco Cartujano, MD, University of Rochester
    “Advancing smoking cessation and physical activity among Latinos”
  • Valentina Zavala, PhD, University of California, Davis
    “Identification of non-European functional variants in breast cancer”

2021 AACR-Genentech Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship

  • Anup Kumar Singh, PhD, La Jolla Institute for Immunology
    “Studying the potential of targeting TET enzymes in cancer immunotherapy”

2021 AACR-Incyte Lymphoma Research Fellowship

  • Antonin Papin, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
    “Role of the linker histones H1 in lymphomas”

2021 AACR-John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation Basic Cancer Research Fellowship

  • Siddhant U. Jain, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    “Probing the dysregulation of SWI/SNF and PRC1/2 interplay in tumorigenesis”

2021 AACR-Pfizer Breast Cancer Research Fellowship

  • Albert E. Kim, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    “Noninvasive identification of oncogenic drivers in breast cancer brain mets”

2021 AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship

  • Anushree Gulvady, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    “Metastasis-promoting tumor-induced microenvironmental alterations”

2021 The AACR-QuadW Foundation Fellowship for Clinical/Translational Sarcoma Research

  • Rutulkumar Patel, MS, PhD, Duke University Medical Center
    “Radiosensitizing rhabdomyosarcoma by targeting metabolic vulnerabilities”

2021 The Bosarge Family Foundation-Waun Ki Hong Scholar Award for Regenerative Cancer Medicine

  • Jessica E.S. Shay MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    “Leveraging ketone bodies for intestinal repair after cancer therapy”

Career Development Awards:

2020 AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research

  • Karuna Ganesh, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute
    “Dissecting regenerative plasticity of metastasis stem cells”
  • Matthew H. Spitzer, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
    “Metabolic dynamics of anti-tumor T cells in breast cancer”

2020 AACR-MPM Oncology Charitable Foundation Transformative Cancer Research Grants

  • Sara J. Buhrlage, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    “Bivalent DUB recruiters for targeted protein stabilization”
  • Robert Eil, MD, Oregon Health & Science University
    “Targeting the ionic checkpoint on T cell antitumor function”
  • Hani Goodarzi, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
    “Discovering and targeting cancer-engineered pathways of metastasis”

2020 AACR-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Grant

  • Jarno Drost, PhD, Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology

2020 Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research

  • Jeremy C. Borniger, PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    “Neuromodulation of subcortical circuits driving breast cancer progression”

2021 AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award

  • Alison M. Taylor, PhD, Columbia University
    “The role of chromosome 3 arm aneuploidy in lung squamous cell carcinoma”

2021 AACR-Novocure Career Development Awards for Tumor Treating Fields Research

  • Gerben Borst, MD, PhD, University of Manchester
    “Unraveling the cell cycle effect of TTFields towards synergistic strategies”
  • Jared A. Weis, PhD, Wake Forest University
    “Characterizing effects of TTFields on cell-extracellular matrix biophysics”

2021 AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Career Development Award, in honor of Robert C. Allen, MD

  • Roger Olofsson Bagge, MD, PhD, Goteborgs Universitet
    “IHP and immunotherapy for uveal melanoma metastasis – the SCANDIUM-II trial”

2021 Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR Translational Research Career Development Awards to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

  • Kimberley Lee, MD, MHS, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
    “The role of adjuvant endocrine therapy in racial disparities in survival”
  • Joshua Saldivar, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University
    “Oncogenic ATR signaling during MYC-induced reprogramming in breast cancer”

2021 Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research, in honor of John Robert Lewis

  • Avery D. Posey, Jr., PhD, University of Pennsylvania
    “The role of Tn antigen in pancreatic cancer: Driver, suppressor, and target”

2021 Lustgarten Foundation-AACR Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research, in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Dannielle Engle, PhD, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    “The role of CA19-9 in pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis”

Independent Investigator Awards:

2020 AACR-The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research “Science of the Patient” (SOP) Grants

  • Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
    “Impact of liver biology on cancer immunity”
  • Marcus DaSilva Goncalves, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
    “Targeting insulin to improve endometrial cancer”
  • Daniel L. Marks, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University
    “Autonomic dysfunction in cancer cachexia”
  • Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, DDS, PhD, MPH, MS, Columbia University
    “Biological mechanism and risk factor of head and neck cancer in blacks”
    Liuqing Yang, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    “Liver PAH defect provokes immune resistance”

2021 AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grants

  • Daniel A. Harki, PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    “Harnessing N-Myc signaling by chemical degradation of aurora kinase A”
  • Daniel Herranz, PharmD, PhD, Rutgers University
    “A novel mitochondrial uncoupling drug in the treatment of leukemia”
  • Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, DDS, PhD, MPH, MS, Columbia University
    “SafeExo platform for lung-specific drug delivery and gene editing”
  • Jill P. Smith, MD, Georgetown University
    “Targeted nanoparticle for early diagnosis & treatment of pancreatic cancer”
  • Jing Yang, PhD, University of California, San Diego
    “Targeting EPHA2/LYN mechanotransduction to inhibit breast cancer metastasis”

2021 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Midcareer Female Investigator Grant

  • Andrea Schietinger, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    “Targeting molecular drivers of T cell dysfunction for cancer immunotherapy”

2021 AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grants

  • Spencer J. Collis, PhD, University of Sheffield
    “TTFields-based DDRi combinations to overcome spatiofunctional heterogeneity”
  • Maurizio D’Incalci, MD, Humanitas University
    “TTFields in mesothelioma: mechanisms and novel rational drug combinations”
  • Chang-Young Jang, PhD, Sookmyung Women’s University
    “Identification of new target of TTFs in mitosis for therapeutic application
  • Sara G.M. Piccirillo, PhD, University of New Mexico
    “The impact of Tumor-Treating Fields on residual disease in glioblastoma”
  • Claudio E. Tatsui, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    “Tumor Treating Fields in the therapy of spinal metastases”
  • Suhe Wang, MD, PhD, University of Michigan
    Natural electrical fields treatment to induce immune modulation in NSCLC”