Young Researchers Share Benefits of Global Scholar-in-Training Program  

For the past five years, cohorts of talented young researchers from around the world have participated in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting through the Global Scholar-in-Training Award (GSITA) program. In keeping with that tradition, the 2024 GSITA awardees will be invited to attend the AACR Annual Meeting 2024, scheduled for April 5-10, 2024, in San Diego.    

GSITA awardees are selected through a rigorous, peer-reviewed process. The 2024 scholars, representing Argentina, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Jordan, Malaysia, and South Africa, were chosen for their outstanding promise as early-career researchers, with the hope that they will apply the education and inspiration they receive from the meeting to their work in their home countries. 

The 2024 awardees are:  

  • Obada Ababneh, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan  
  • Mohammad Almajali, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan  
  • Viktor Kalbermatter Boell, Institute of Chemistry, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil  
  • Sofia Bruni, Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental (IBYME-CONICET), Argentina  
  • Diana Aguilar Cortes, Fundacion Instituto Leloir, Argentina  
  • Yucheng Dong, Peking Union Medical College, China  
  • Li-Fang Yeo, PhD, Cancer Research Malaysia, Malaysia  
  • Seifegebriel Teshome Feleke, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia  
  • Balachander Kannan, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences (SIMATS), Saveetha University, Chennai, India  
  • Divpreet Kaur, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research (ACBR), University of Delhi, India  
  • Yuli Magalhaes, PhD, Institute of Chemistry, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil  
  • Ankit Mathur, PhD, Delhi School of Public Health, Institution of Eminence, University of Delhi, India  
  • Yvonne Nartey, MD, PhD, Cape Coast Teaching Hospital/University of Cape Coast, Ghana  
  • Gaston Pascual, Instituto de Química Biológica de la Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (IQUIBICEN), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires City, Argentina 
  • Mutsa Takundwa, PhD, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa  

To learn more about how the GSITA experience benefits early-career researchers, we checked in with some of last year’s class and asked them to share how their experience has helped prepare them for the next stage in their career.  

Vidit Gaur, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, New Delhi, India 

Vidit Gaur
Vidit Gaur

How do you see the GSITA furthering your opportunities? 

The GSITA has been an absolute game-changer for me, opening doors to a world of opportunities that would have otherwise been inaccessible. As a young researcher hailing from India, where such opportunities are limited, being selected as a GSITA awardee has not only granted me the privilege of participating in the Annual Meeting but has also facilitated invaluable interactions with globally renowned cancer researchers. These interactions not only enhanced my knowledge related to cancer research but also offered diverse perspectives that could be used to treat cancers. 

Additionally, the collaborative environment fostered by the GSITA program has enabled me to form meaningful collaborations with fellow researchers at the global level and has helped me improve my research manyfold. In essence, the GSITA played a vital role in elevating my academic growth, providing access to such a rich and diverse network of cancer researchers, and has undoubtedly furthered my opportunities in ways that are both profound and far-reaching. 

Jiazhang Xing, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China 

Jiazhang Xing
Jiazhang Xing

Did your attendance at the Annual Meeting assist in refining your research and career path? 

The ideas and individuals I encountered during the event prompted me to think deeply about my academic work. I developed a profound appreciation for the significance of collaboration, especially across disciplines, which has empowered me to approach research projects from many perspectives. Additionally, I acquired knowledge of subjects and technologies previously unfamiliar to me, thanks to direct interactions with accessible experts at the meeting. These experiences have undoubtedly influenced my research goals and career aspirations. 

Yazan Hamadneh, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan 

Yazan Hamadneh
Yazan Hamadneh

How do you see the GSITA furthering your opportunities?  

Receiving the award has enabled me to be more confident in mentoring other students and kickstart a cancer research culture among medical students and clinicians in my university. Additionally, the award has aided me in connecting with prestigious regional and global cancer institutes and scientists throughout the globe. 

The post Annual Meeting webinars and sessions have been invaluable, as I learned many things in these sessions. Also, the GSITA alumni community connects you with previous years’ GSITAs and it is a healthy community overall that cares about its members and their future careers. 

I will be forever grateful for being selected for the award, and the opportunities that followed it. 

Andres Elia, Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (CONICET), Buenos Aires City, Argentina 

Andres Elia
Andres Elia

How did the Annual Meeting help prepare you for the next stage in your career?   

Attending the 2023 conference was an insightful experience. I was able to meet with renowned researchers who generously shared with me their scientific career challenges and how they were overcoming them. The conference not only allows you to immerse yourself in cutting-edge research but also to open your mind on how to build your network and take the next steps in your career. It was definitely an eye-opening experience that introduced me to new opportunities and challenges, and provided me with a network of generous people to work with.