January 18, 2024

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Announces 2024 Emerging Leader Awards; $3.75 Million Awarded to Outstanding Early-career Scientists

Since 2019, more than $34M has been granted to support cancer research projects through the Emerging Leader Award program

New York, NY, January 18, 2024 — The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research announced the recipients of the 2024 Emerging Leader Awards. Five outstanding early-career investigators will receive a total of $3.75 million for their projects aimed at addressing urgent needs in cancer research. The Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Award (ELA) empowers these scientists to take on innovative, high-risk/high-reward projects that have significant potential to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

The 2024 ELA winners are pursuing diverse aims in areas of basic, translational, and early clinical cancer research, including uncovering the developmental origins of pediatric cancers of the central nervous system, explaining sex differences in the antitumor immunity of T cells, expanding our understanding of the role of DNA damage on carcinogenesis, identifying autoantibodies that influence response to immunotherapy, and elucidating the role of oncometabolites on protein regulation.

“We are encouraging the next generation of oncology superstars to take more risks at an earlier stage of their career through our Emerging Leader Awards program,” said Ryan Schoenfeld, PhD, The Mark Foundation CEO. “These grants will enable researchers to pursue innovative projects that might never launch without our support.”

Since launching the ELA program in 2018, The Mark Foundation has awarded more than $34 million to 39 early-career scientists.

The 2023 Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Award recipients are listed below. Each award is $750,000 ($250,000 per year for three years). For more detailed information on each project, titles link to the corresponding project pages on The Mark Foundation website.

Edward Chouchani, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Defining the protein regulome targeted by lactate and other central carbon oncometabolites

Bret Freudenthal, PhD, University of Kansas Medical Center
Ribonucleotide processing in telomere maintenance and integrity

Amy Moran, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University
Mechanisms of androgen mediated immune suppression

Paul Northcott, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Dissecting photoreceptor lineage identity as a tumorigenic vulnerability in pediatric cancer

Aaron Ring, MD, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Decoding the autoantibody ‘reactome’ in cancer immunotherapy

The portal to submit letters of intent for the next round of Emerging Leader Awards will open in March 2024. To find out more about the Emerging Leader Award application process, interested parties should follow The Mark Foundation on X (twitter) and sign up for periodic news updates on our website.

About The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, a charitable organization based in New York City, actively partners with scientists around the world to accelerate research that will transform the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.  Since 2017, The Mark Foundation has awarded more than $200 million in grants to over 100 academic institutions across 13 countries, with research programs focusing on early career support, team science collaboration, new technology innovation, and therapeutics discovery.  Additionally, The Mark Foundation maintains a growing portfolio of investments in early-stage cancer diagnostics and therapeutics companies, including several that have transitioned from grantee projects into commercial development.  To learn more please visit www.TheMarkFoundation.org.

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Linda Heaney

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