Conquer Cancer Foundation Builds International Bridges for the Oncology Community with LIFe, IDEA Awards

May 08, 2017

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF) is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the 2017 Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) and International Development and Education Awards (IDEA). This year’s awards honor 25 recipients, and provide vital opportunities for oncologists in low- and middle-income countries to gain useful experience to improve cancer care in their home countries. Established to facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships, hands-on education, and communication within the oncology field at the international level, these awards mirror the Foundation’s commitment to helping oncologists around the world deliver better care to patients with cancer.

“Knowledge sharing is vital to the advancement of cancer care, no matter where you are in the world,” said Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “The connections and skills these promising oncology professionals will foster as a result of the LIFe and IDEA awards will have a positive impact on cancer care in their communities, widening the scope of our global understanding of cancer.”

Long-term International Fellowship

Established in 2010, the Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) enriches the education and training of young oncologists in low- and middle-income countries by providing a one-year fellowship opportunity with an ASCO mentor in the United States, Canada, or the European Union. The fellowship helps to foster international communication and educational support, and emphasizes the importance of mentoring in the oncology field. The 2017 LIFe recipient is:

Susmita Sharma, MD

Project: “Factors leading to significant busulfan dose adjustments in patients receiving busulfan-based myeloablative conditioning regimens”

Home institution: National Academy of Medical Sciences, Bir Hospital (Nepal)

Sponsoring institution: University of Utah - Huntsman Cancer Institute

Mentor: John W. Sweetenham, MD, FRCP, FACP

International Development and Education Awards

The International Development and Education Awards (IDEA) were established to connect young oncologists in low- and middle-income countries with oncology leaders based in Canada and the United States to establish mentoring relationships. The award includes attendance at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting and a post-meeting visit to the mentor’s institution, with the aim of developing a long-term, knowledge-sharing relationship to improve cancer care in the mentee’s home country. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the IDEA program, and new countries represented for the first time among recipients include Bolivia, Haiti, and Rwanda. The International Development and Education Award in Palliative Care (IDEA-PC) provides the same opportunity for early-career oncologists with a specific interest in palliative medicine. The Foundation has provided 328 IDEA and IDEA-PC awards to recipients in 60 countries over the last 15 years.

The 2017 IDEA recipients are as follows:

  • Nida Anwar, MBBS, FCPS, National Institute of Blood Diseases and Bone Marrow Transplantation (Pakistan)
  • Daniel Araujo, MD, A.C.Camargo Cancer Center (Brazil)
  • Maria Diana Aileen Bautista, MD, University of Santo Tomas Hospital (Philippines)
  • Joseph Bernard, MD, St Luke Family Hospital (Haiti)
  • Simonida Bobic, MD, Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia (Serbia)
  • Voc Tai Dang, MD, Nuclear Medicine and Oncology Center, Bach Mai Hospital (Vietnam)
  • Rotimi Adedeji David, MBBS, FWACS, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (Nigeria)
  • José Enrique Gonzales Nogales, MD, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia (Bolivia)
  • Zulfiyya Imamguliyeva, MD, Azerbaijan State Advanced Training Institute for Doctors named after A.Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
  • Shakilu Kayungo, MD, University of Dodoma (Tanzania)
  • Evgeniya Kharchenko, MD, N.N.Petrov Institution of Oncology (Russia)
  • Tahir Mehmood, MBBS, FCPS Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (Pakistan)
  • Raj Mohan, MBBS, All India Institute of Medical Science (India)
  • Omar Peña-Curiel, MD, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (Mexico)
  • Sandra Ileana Pérez Álvarez, MD, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (Mexico)
  • Srinivas Rajagopala, MBBS, MD, PSG Institute of Medical Education & Research (India)
  • Manglio Rizzo, MD, Instituto Alexander Fleming (Argentina)
  • Fidel Rubagumya, MD, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Rwanda)
  • Paolo Sogono, MD, BS, Benavides Cancer Institute (Philippines)
  • Lucksamon Thamlikitkul, MD, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University (Thailand)

The 2017 IDEA-PC recipients are as follows:  

  • Mirza Jacqueline Alcalde Castro, MD, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán (Mexico)
  • Diah Martina, MD, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • André Filipe Junqueira dos Santos, MD, PhD, Ribeirão Preto Medical School (Brazil)
  • Wah Wah Myint Zu, MBBS, Yangon General Hospital (Myanmar)


The 2017 LIFe is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment.

The 2017 IDEA is supported by Amgen and Takeda Oncology.

The 2017 IDEA-PC is supported by CRDF Global, National Cancer Institute, and United States Department of Agriculture.

*As of May 5, 2017

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