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NCCN Foundation Awards Leading Young Investigators Advancing Cancer Research for Adults and Children

National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation’s annual Young Investigator Awards granted to top early-career researchers from leading cancer centers seeking tomorrow’s cures

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [May 20, 2020] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation® today announced five new recipients for the  10th annual NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards (YIA) Program. The honorees will receive up to $150,000 in funding to study ways to improve care and help find cures for people with breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and small cell lung cancer, as well as pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) managed the selection process and will oversee the projects, which will each extend for the next two years.

“NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipients go on to make incredible contributions to the global oncology community,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “These men and women are among the best of the best up-and-coming cancer researchers, and NCCN is proud to provide a step up on their career journey. Each of these studies represents a critical learning opportunity that can help us save lives and lessen hardships for people with cancer.”

The 2020 NCCN Foundation YIA recipients are:

  • Agnieszka Czechowicz, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine
    • “Development of anti-hKIT Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cells as a Dual Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) Conditioning and Immunotherapeutic Agent for Cure of Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)”
  • Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    • “Choice Architecture and Mailed Colorectal Cancer Screening Outreach in a Community Health Setting”
Left to right: Drs. Czechowicz, Iams, Mehta, Raoof, and Sheng
Agnieszka Czechowicz, MD, PhD Wade T. Iams, MD Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP Mustafa Raoof, MD Jennifer Y. Sheng, MD


“The NCCN Foundation is proud to honor these talented researchers as they explore the course of treatment innovation and advancement for people with cancer,” said Marcie R. Reeder, MPH, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. “We look forward to seeing where their research takes them on the path toward future breakthroughs.”

Following precedence, research results from these five recipients will be presented during the NCCN 2022 Annual Conference. Similar presentation from the recipients of the 2018 NCCN Young Investigator Awards were scheduled for the NCCN 2020 Annual Conference, which was postponed due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, posters that were accepted for the conference can now be viewed online at NCCN.org/conference, with abstracts printed in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improves the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database. For more information on these and other collaborative cancer research projects, see NCCN.org/orp.

The 2020 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards were made possible through support from AbbVie Inc; AstraZeneca; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; Incyte Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; and Pharmacyclics, An AbbVie Company. Visit NCCN.org/patients to learn more about the NCCN Foundation or make a donation to support future research and patient resources.

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit NCCN.org for more information and follow NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorg, Instagram @NCCNorg and Twitter @NCCN.

About the NCCN Foundation

The NCCN Foundation® was founded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to empower people with cancer and advance oncology innovation. The NCCN Foundation empowers people with cancer and their caregivers by delivering unbiased expert guidance from the world’s leading cancer experts through the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and other patient education resources. The NCCN Foundation is also committed to advancing cancer treatment by funding the nation’s promising young investigators at the forefront of cancer research. For more information about the NCCN Foundation, visit NCCN.org/patients.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 30 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. By defining and advancing high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers around the world.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope National Medical Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital