ASCO, Conquer Cancer Foundation Congratulate 2015 Grant and Award Recipients

Jun 25, 2015

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF) presented more than $6.7 million in grants and awards to more than 200 promising oncology researchers at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting. The Conquer Cancer Foundation and ASCO congratulate the recipients on their contributions to the field of oncology and offer profound thanks to the generous organizations that supported these awards.

To see the complete list of grant and award recipients, visit and

Comparative Effectiveness Research Professorship in Breast Cancer Recipient

The Comparative Effectiveness Research Professorship in Breast Cancer provides flexible funding to outstanding researchers who have made and are continuing to make significant contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research and who provide mentorship to junior researchers. The professorship is supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

  • 2015 recipient: Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS (2002 CDA, 2007 ACRA in Breast Cancer), Columbia University Medical Center, “Reducing Overuse and Underuse to Improve the Quality and Safety of Breast Cancer Care”

Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer

The Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) funds investigators in their fourth to ninth year of faculty appointment, who are committed to clinical cancer research in an area not currently funded. The award is supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

  • 2015 recipient: Priyanka Sharma, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center, “Evaluation of BRCAness Phenotype as Prognostic Marker in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”

Career Development Awards

The Career Development Award (CDA) provides funding to clinical investigators who have received their initial faculty appointment to establish an independent clinical cancer research program. This year’s recipients will each receive a threeyear grant totaling $200,000:

  • Sandra P. D’Angelo, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “Identifying Biomarkers Predictive of Response to Nivolumab +/– Ipilimumab in Patients with Metastatic Sarcoma”
  • Ayca Gucalp, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “A Randomized Multicenter Phase II Study of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in Patients with a History of Breast Cancer, Premalignant Lesions, or Benign Disease”
  • Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, “Mechanistic Study of Double Immune Suppression Blockade Combining CSF-1R Inhibitor PLX3397 with Anti-PD-1 Antibody Pembrolizumab to Treat Advanced Melanoma/Solid Tumors”
  • Douglas B. Johnson, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, “Optimizing Targeted and Immune Therapy Approaches for Non-BRAF V600 Melanoma”
  • David Margel, MD, PhD, Rabin Medical Center, “Personalized Prostate Cancer Screening Among Male BRCA Carriers—A Prospective Cohort Study”
  • Sean Matthew McBride, MD, MPH, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, “A Phase II Randomized Controlled Screening Trial of Nivolumab with Image-Guided, Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) versus Nivolumab Alone in Patients with Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) Who Have Received Previous Platinum Therapy”
  • Katherine Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Adoption of Breast Cancer Gene Expression Profiling, Effects on Chemotherapy Utilization and Disease Outcomes”
  • Rizwan Romee, MD, Washington University, “A Phase 1 Study of Cytokine-Induced Memory-Like NK Cells in Patients with Relapsed and Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia”
  • Florian R. Schroeck, MD, MS, White River Junction VA Medical Center/The Dartmouth Institute, “Understanding Risk-Aligned Care for Early-Stage Bladder Cancer”
  • Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD, The Cleveland Clinic, “Novel Pharmacologic Approach to Enhance the Epigenetic and Immune Priming Effect of Decitabine in Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”
  • Jason R. Westin, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “Smart Start: A Phase Ib/II Study of Rituximab, Lenalidomide, Ibrutinib, and EPOCH in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma”

CDAs are supported by Astellas, Astra- Zeneca, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment, Genentech BioOncology™, Lilly, and Takeda Oncology.

Young Investigator Awards

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. This year’s 58 awardees will each receive a one-year grant of $50,000.

YIAs are supported by AbbVie, Inc.; the American Association for Cancer Research; Amgen; Anonymous; the ASCO and Conquer Cancer Foundation Boards of Directors; the ASCO State Affiliate Council and ASCO Clinical Practice Committee; AstraZeneca; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®; Celgene Corporation; The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation; the Conquer Cancer Foundation; Conquer Cancer Foundation Women Who Conquer Cancer; Eisai Inc.; Ethicon; Genentech BioOncology™; Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Incyte Corporation; Janssen Biotech, Inc.; the John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation; Journal of Clinical Oncology; the Kidney Cancer Association; Lilly; Merck & Co., Inc.; Novartis Oncology; Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Susan K. Parsons, MD, and Walter Armstrong; Pfizer Oncology; the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Alliance; Roche; the Scopus Foundation; Young A. Sohn and Mark Armenante; the Strike 3 Foundation; Takeda Oncology; and The WWWW Foundation Inc. (QuadW) and The Sarcoma Fund of the QuadW Foundation of Communities Foundation of Texas.

International Development and Education Award

The International Development and Education Award (IDEA) provides support for early-career oncologists in lowand middle-income countries to further their knowledge and careers and establish strong long-term relationships with leading ASCO members who serve as scientific mentors to each recipient. This year’s 20 awardees attended the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting and visited their mentor’s institution, where they gained knowledge and skills to share with their peers back home. Notably, this is the first year IDEA awards supported oncologists from Ghana, Mauritius, and South Africa.

IDEAs are supported by AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Conquer Cancer Foundation, Roche, and Takeda Oncology.

Medical Student Rotation for Underrepresented Populations

The Medical Student Rotation (MSR) for Underrepresented Populations provides eight- to 10-week clinical or clinical research oncology rotations for U.S. medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine who are interested in pursuing oncology as a career. This year, seven medical students were selected to participate in the program:

  • Oladapo Adeniran, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Cecil Benitez, Stanford University
  • Mario Martinez, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Angel Moran, University of California, Davis
  • Dionisia Quiroga, Michigan State University
  • Elisa Quiroz, Ponce Health Sciences University
  • Jasmine Smith, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

The MSR for Underrepresented Populations is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment, Eisai Inc., Genentech BioOncology™, and Lilly.

Resident Travel Award for Underrepresented Populations

The Resident Travel Award (RTA) for Underrepresented Populations provides financial support for residents from underrepresented populations to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting. This year eight residents were selected to participate in the program:

  • Olufunke Akinbobuyi, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Idoroenyi Amanam, MD, St. Mary Medical Center
  • Ebenezer Appah, MD, Meharry Medical College
  • Frederick Doamekpor, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Nancy Osuji-Oduh, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Linnea Perkins, MD, Ochsner Clinic
  • Sonya Reid-Lawrence, MD, Meharry Medical College
  • Oluchi Ukaegbu, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The RTA is supported by Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Novartis Oncology.

Clinical Trials Participation Awards

The Clinical Trials Participation Award (CTPA) recognizes and promotes highquality clinical research sites with the intent to increase the awareness of and participation in clinical trials among physicians. The awards are presented to community-based practices participating in clinical trials at an exceptional level. The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups has supported these awards for 13 consecutive years. Six practices were honored this year:

  • Cancer Care Specialists of Central Illinois, Decatur, IL
  • Blue Ridge Cancer Care, Roanoke, VA
  • Oncology Hematology Care, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
  • Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, AZ
  • The Division of Gynecologic Oncology at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Cone Health Cancer Center, Greensboro, NC

Merit Awards for High-Quality Research

The Conquer Cancer Foundation distributed 99 Merit Awards to oncology fellows who submitted high-quality research for presentation at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, four of which were Special Merit Awards for the highest-ranking abstracts in select categories. The 2015 Special Merit Award recipients are:

  • Sébastien Héritier, MD, Versailles University & APHP, Trousseau Hospital, James B. Nachman ASCO Junior Faculty Award in Pediatric Oncology
  • Maria-Jose de Miguel-Luken, MD, The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, Bradley Stuart Beller Special Merit Award (supported by the Bradley Stuart Beller Endowment Fund)
  • Mark Applebaum, MD, University of Chicago, Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award
  • Ryan Nipp, MD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Center, Pain and Symptom Management Research Merit Award

Oncology Trainee Travel Awards

The Oncology Trainee Travel Award (OTTA) supports the continuing education and professional development of trainee oncologists by providing individual travel grants to defray travel expenses for attending the ASCO Annual Meeting. In 2015, the Conquer Cancer Foundation awarded 64 OTTAs.

OTTAs are supported by Takeda Oncology.

2015 Long-term International Fellowship

The Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) provides early-career oncologists in low- to middle-income countries the support and resources needed to advance their training by deepening their relationship with a mentor from the United States, Canada, or Europe and his or her institution. This year’s recipients are:

Malek Baassiri, MD, “Late Outcomes of Adult Survivors of Childhood Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia Diagnosed Between 1962-2002”
Home Institution: American University of Beirut Medical Center (Lebanon)
U.S. Sponsoring Institution: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Mentor: Melissa M. Hudson, MD

Kibrom Hagos, MD, “Radiation and Chemoradiation Side Effects in Patients with Cervical Cancer”
Home Institution: Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)
U.S. Sponsoring Institution: Oregon Health and Science University
Mentor: Charles R. Thomas, MD, FASCO

The LIFe is supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Roche.

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