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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, such as cancer prevention, racial disparities in screening, immunotherapy, new insights in radiotherapy, and CAR T-cell therapy.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [April 15, 2021] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation® today announced seven new recipients for the 2021 NCCN Foundation  Young Investigator Awards (YIA) Program. The honorees will receive up to $150,000 in funding, over two years, to advance important 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.

“NCCN is committed to improving the lives of people with cancer by supporting research that is novel, transparent, and meaningful,” said Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN. “The NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards Program exemplifies this objective by fostering emerging talent and exploring promising areas for study. Congratulations to all of the impressive investigators selected for these awards.”

The 2021 NCCN Foundation YIA recipients are:

  • Everett Moding, MD, PhD, Stanford Cancer Institute     
    • Resolving Sarcoma Evolution During Tumor Development and Radiation Therapy
  • Neelima Navuluri, MD, MPH, Duke Cancer Institute      
    • Intervention Mapping to Improve Lung Cancer Screening Among Black Veterans

Dr. AkbayDr. JacksonDr. Moding

Dr. NavuluriDr. ParikhDr. StephensDr. Zebley

Top row, from left: Drs. Akbay, Jackson, and Moding. Bottom row, from left: Drs. Navaluri, Parikh, Stephens, and Zebley.

The research from these seven recipients will be presented during the NCCN 2023 Annual Conference. Recipients of the 2018 NCCN Young Investigator Awards recently presented their research during the NCCN 2021 Virtual Annual Conference; those abstracts are now available in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The NCCN Foundation has awarded more than $8.7 million since 2011 through the YIA program, to a total of 59 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 NCCN.org/orp.

The 2021 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards were made possible through support from AbbVie; Amgen Inc.; AstraZeneca; Merck & Co., Inc.**, Pfizer Inc.; Pharmacyclics, An AbbVie Company; and Sanofi Genzyme. The 2021 NCCN Foundation YIA Program is also supported by a grant from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Visit NCCN.org/patients to learn more or to make a donation to the NCCN Foundation.

* This announcement was updated on May 30, 2021 to include the award for Dr. Ravi Parikh.

** This announcement was updated on June 16, 2021 to include an additional funding acknowledgement for Merck & Co., Inc.

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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.