January 6, 2020

2020 Emerging Leader Awards Announced

$4.5 million awarded to six outstanding early career scientists to support innovation in cancer research

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research (MFCR) has awarded six grants to promising early career scientists for projects aimed at addressing unmet needs in cancer research. The Emerging Leader Award program aims to empower early career investigators to take on innovative, risky projects that have significant potential to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

The 2020 MFCR Emerging Leaders are pursuing diverse aims in areas of basic, translational, and early clinical cancer research, including a new way of detecting cancer using tumor biomarkers found in lymph, novel combination therapies to treat the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma, and machine learning algorithms to improve clinical care for prostate cancer patients.

“One of our top priorities as a foundation is to support the exciting work of the next generation of cancer research leaders,” said Michele Cleary, PhD, CEO of MFCR. “We look forward to sustaining long-term partnerships with these exceptional scientists and are very eager for the results of their research to bring substantial benefits to cancer patients.”

Since its founding in mid-2017, MFCR has already awarded over $15 million to over 30 early career scientists of the U.S., including two cohorts of Emerging Leaders, postdoctoral fellows across the U.S., and recipients of other MFCR grants.

The recipients of MFCR’s 2020 Emerging Leader Awards are listed below with their project titles:

  • Greg Delgoffe, PhD, University of Pittsburgh: “Improving Cancer Immunotherapy through Metabolic Modulation”
  • Philip Kranzusch, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “Mechanism of cGAS-STING Inactivation in Antitumor Immunity and Disease”
  • Amanda Lund, PhD, New York University: “Exploiting Lymphatic Transport for Early Detection”
  • Mario Suvà, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital: “Targeting Cellular States and Plasticity in Glioblastoma”
  • Jeffrey Tyner, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University: “Drug Combinations to Preempt Resistance in AML”
  • Eliezer Van Allen, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “Convergence of Machine Learning and Translational Genomics for Prostate Cancer Precision Medicine”

Awardees were determined through a highly competitive process led by MFCR’s Scientific Advisory Committee chaired by Ross L. Levine, MD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Other members of the Scientific Advisory Committee include Scott A. Armstrong, MD, PhD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Catherine Bollard, MBChB, MD of Children’s National Health System; Curt I. Civin, MD of the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Elaine R. Mardis, PhD of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Institute for Genomic Medicine; Jeroen Roose, PhD of the University of California, San Francisco; Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and E. John Wherry, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

In 2019, MFCR granted Emerging Leader Awards to eight scientists. Read more about all of the Emerging Leader research projects here: https://themarkfoundation.org/portfolio/

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