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Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations, 2676226624

NCCN Foundation Announces Awards for Rising Cancer Research Leaders

National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Oncology Research Program to oversee projects from early-career investigators advancing key areas for study in cancer care and biology, such as novel combination therapy, equitable access to cellular therapies, immune cell dysfunction, liquid biomarkers, genetic ancestry, oncogenic vulnerabilities, and MAIT cell antitumor activity.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [April 25, 2022] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation® today announced seven recipients for the 2022 NCCN Foundation  Young Investigator Awards (YIA) Program. The honorees will each receive up to $150,000 in funding, over two years, to advance research on important issues in oncology. These early-career investigators from NCCN Member Institutions represent tomorrow’s leaders for advancing cancer care. The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) managed the selection process and will provide guidance and oversight for the projects over the grant duration.

“As a former Young Investigator Award recipient myself, I know how important funding in the early years of one’s career can be. I have seen past YIA investigators go on to make meaningful and lasting contributions to the oncology community,” said Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN. “These awardees are chosen for being some of the best up-and-coming cancer researchers. NCCN celebrates all of the impressive investigators selected.”

The 2022 NCCN Foundation YIA recipients are:

  • Zachary Frosch, MD, MSHP, Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Developing Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Equitable Access to Cellular Therapies
  • Ana I. Tergas, MD, MPH, City of Hope
    • Genetic Ancestry, Cervical Cancer Outcomes, and Prevalence of Homologous DNA Repair Deficiency in a Diverse Multi-ethnic Population

Abhishek Chakraborty, PhD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer InstituteChristos Fountzilas, MD, FACP, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer CenterZachary Frosch, MD, MSHP, Fox Chase Cancer CenterChad Tang, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Ana I. Tergas, MD, MPH, City of HopeRichard Tobin, PhD, University of Colorado Cancer CenterShuang (George) Zhao, MD, MS, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center

Top row: Drs. Chakraborty, Fountzilas, Frosch, Tang.

Bottom row: Drs. Tergas, Tobin, and Zhao.

As part of NCCN’s commitment to elevating cancer equity, our Young Investigator Awards include a designated category for disparities research that we are proud to support,” said Patrick Delaney, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. “NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipients make important contributions to treatment innovation and advancement for people with cancer. We are eager to see where the research from this year’s recipients takes the field.”

The research from these seven recipients will be presented during the NCCN 2024 Annual Conference. Recipients of the 2020 NCCN Young Investigator Awards recently presented their research virtually during the NCCN 2022 Annual Conference; those abstracts are now available at, the online home of JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The NCCN Foundation has awarded more than $9.7 million since 2011 through the YIA program, to a total of 66 researchers.

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

To learn more about the 2022 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards or to make a donation to the NCCN Foundation, visit This year’s awards were made possible through support from AbbVie, ADVI, Amgen, Inc., AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., Pharmacyclics, An AbbVie Company, and Sanofi Genzyme.

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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, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives. Visit for more information on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) and other initiatives. 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