AACR-Incyte Fellowships

The AACR-Incyte Fellowships represent a joint effort to encourage and support young mentored investigators to conduct cancer research and to establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, or clinical in nature.

2020 Grantee

AACR-Incyte Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
Nicoletta Cieri, MD, PhD

Nicoletta Cieri, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts
Addressing AML with vaccine-induced polyclonal leukemia-specific T cells

Research
Relapse from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after allo-HSCT remains an unmet clinical challenge. AML recurrence after transplant is the leading cause of mortality, with limited and unsatisfactory post-relapse treatment options. Dr. Cieri aims to potentiate the beneficial graft-versus-leukemia effect of donor-derived T cells in the context of allo-HSCT. Her study combines AML vaccination as a means to in vivo prime donor T cells against leukemic antigens, with in silico prediction of AML neoepitopes and ex vivo T-cell expansion, using novel cutting-edge biomaterials, and subsequent adoptive transfer of AML-reactive T cells.

Biography
Dr. Cieri obtained her MD and PhD degrees at San Raffaele University in Italy, where she focused on dissecting the impact of T-cell state and function in adoptive immune-gene therapy approaches and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) for leukemias. She completed a hematology residency at Milan University in Italy. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she is studying the complex interplay between T cells and leukemia upon allo-HSCT.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am humbled and thrilled to have been selected as a recipient of the 2020 AACR-Incyte Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship. This invaluable support and recognition represents a key milestone in my career development as a physician-scientist, and I am truly committed to the development of innovative immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer.

2019 Grantee

AACR-Incyte Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
Won Jin Ho, MD

Won Jin Ho, MD

Clinical Fellow
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
Interrogating the role of PTPN22 in antitumor immunity

Research
Several epidemiological studies have shown that a single nucleotide polymorphism in PTPN22, a physiologic regulator of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, is associated with autoimmune disease. Since robust TCR signaling is critical to successful antitumor immunity, the function of PTPN22 as delineated by studies in autoimmune contexts presents a unique opportunity to be exploited toward cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Ho is interrogating the role of PTPN22 in antitumor immunity.

Biography
Dr. Ho attended medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed a research track internal medicine residency as an NIH F32 postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a second-year medical oncology fellow at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, where he is pursuing research to better understand the immune tumor microenvironment.

Acknowledgement of Support
I am absolutely humbled and thrilled to have been selected as a recipient of 2019 AACR-Incyte Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship. This fellowship will be formative in my growth as a physician-scientist, and I hope that this work will contribute to a novel immunotherapeutic approach to treating cancer patients.