Nebraska Oncology Society Supports Young Investigators, Expands Footprint Through Collaboration

Jan 14, 2020

The Nebraska Oncology Society (NOS) is the fourth ASCO State Affiliate committed to supporting Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, by funding a Young Investigator Award (YIA).

“There’s a great need for oncologists in clinical practice, in general,” said NOS president Ralph Hauke, MD, FACP. “As federal funding gets tighter and the ability for people to get funding for their research becomes very stringent, these kinds of opportunities are important to allow folks to generate preliminary data to spark more grants.”

Although NOS previously supported Conquer Cancer research through ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, this YIA investment is NOS’s first fully funded award and expands the organization’s impact on cutting-edge cancer research.

“The Nebraska Oncology Society is a crucial partner in helping Conquer Cancer develop the next generation of oncology researchers,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Conquer Cancer’s chief philanthropic officer. “We are grateful for its support of the Young Investigator Award as well as its commitment to developing a sustainable oncology research pipeline in Nebraska.”

NOS was founded in 1995 to organize and unite Nebraska’s oncology community. Today, more than 185 members rely on the society to stay informed on regulatory issues, exchange ideas, and share best practices. In addition to funding the YIA, NOS is making a concerted push to reach students, residents, and fellows to encourage careers in oncology research.

Alongside Cancer Alliance in Nebraska, NOS is developing a pilot project to launch a website for tracking all Nebraska clinical oncology trials. With the Nebraska Cancer Coalition, NOS serves on the HPV Steering Committee to promote Nebraska’s HPV vaccination education efforts. Other projects include outreach efforts related to cancer screening and prevention.

“Much of what oncology is about is trying to improve care for patients,” said Dr. Hauke. “We’re trying to become a unifying point for people who care for patients with cancer.”

NOS funding is not limited to Nebraska researchers. Yi-Tsung “John” Lu, MD, the 2019 recipient of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO/Nebraska Oncology Society YIA, earned his medical degree from the University of Taiwan and is an oncology fellow at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles.

Advances in cancer research cannot happen, Dr. Lu noted, without the funding community. “I appreciate Nebraska Oncology Society for their generous support to junior researchers like me. With all the help from the cancer research community, I hope we will continue to improve the care of our patients, following the path of our mentors,” he said.

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