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2024 AACR Annual Meeting Meet the Research Grant Reviewers Event Offers a Unique Opportunity to Interact with AACR Research Grant Reviewers 

On Monday, April 8, 2024, attendees of the 2024 AACR Annual Meeting are invited to participate in a unique opportunity to interact with two of our research grant reviewers! Our Meet the Research Grant Reviewers event will be held from 2:30-3:30 p.m. PT and will provide a platform for attendees to ask AACR grant reviewers any questions about the grant review process. This year we are thrilled to have Sandeep Burma, PhD, FNASc and Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD participate. Below we offer you an introduction to our speakers and share what attendees can hope to gain from this interactive event. 

Sandeep Burma, PhD, FNASc

Dr. Burma is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural Biology and Department of Neurosurgery, where he also serves as vice chair of research, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio). He also serves as co-leader of the Cancer Development Program of the NCI-designated Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Burma’s research laboratory focuses on mechanisms of DNA damage response, especially in the context of glioblastoma. He has served on several AACR grant review committees and shared that his experience reviewing early-stage investigator grant applications has been “very meaningful because funding and reviewer feedback at this stage can give young investigators the impetus to propel their careers forward and also motivate them to think creatively while developing their projects.” 

Beyond the AACR, Dr. Burma has served on numerous grant review panels for various organizations and noted that “the scientific rigor and review process at AACR are comparable to other review panels that I have served on.” Dr. Burma shared his appreciation for the AACR grant review process, noting that “while we of course evaluate the project’s scientific merit, AACR reviewers are encouraged to look at applications through a holistic lens, especially for mentored awards like postdoctoral fellowships. This kind of approach helps reviewers make a more informed decision regarding which applications are meritorious and deserving of funding.” 

Christine M. Lovly, MD, PhD

Dr. Lovly is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Ingram associate professor of cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where her laboratory studies mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies in lung cancer. Dr. Lovly has experienced both sides of the AACR grant review process: she was awarded the 2015 AACR-Genentech BioOncology Career Development Award for Cancer Research on the HER Family Pathway and, in more recent years, has served on multiple AACR grant review committees for early-stage investigators. In addition, Dr. Lovly also serves on the AACR Board of Directors. 

Dr. Lovly shared that “it’s been a pleasure to be a reviewer for funding mechanisms that support and encourage young investigators.” In addition to running a research laboratory, Dr. Lovly is also a lung cancer medical oncologist and provides clinical care to those battling lung cancer. While Dr. Lovly works in multiple cancer-related capacities, she shared that “serving as a grant reviewer for AACR is one way to serve the broader cancer research community, and the dedicated team at AACR makes the review process as seamless and rigorous as possible.” 

Meet the Research Grant Reviewers will serve as an open forum for attendees to ask our grant reviewers any questions they may have that they would not otherwise get the opportunity to discuss. We hope that attendees will leave the event with a deeper understanding of the AACR grant review process, the thought process of a grant reviewer, and gain insights on how to craft a grant application to obtain successful funding. We look forward to seeing you at this event!