News Details


Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations, 2676226624

Four Early-Career Cancer Researchers Earn Prestigious Annual Award from NCCN Foundation

National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Oncology Research Program to oversee projects focused on kidney cancer, palliative care, detection of early-stage cancer, and racial differences in breast cancer.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [April 13, 2023] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation® today announced four winners for the 2023 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards. These annual awards honor up-and-coming leaders in oncology research working to investigate and advance cancer care. The honorees will each receive up to $150,000 in funding for projects that will run over two years. The selection process is overseen by the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) which will also provide oversight.

“It is a privilege to support these emerging innovators who are poised to take our understanding of cancer care to the next level,” said Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN, who was herself an NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award (YIA) recipient in 2012. “These studies are ambitious and timely, and we are eager to see results that will improve the lives of people with cancer everywhere. Congratulations to this year’s winners for helping to advance the future of oncology.”

The 2023 NCCN Foundation YIA recipients are:

  • Julia Agne, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute        
    • Patient- and Caregiver-Triggered Palliative Referrals via an Electronic Symptom Monitoring Program   
  • Arnab Basu, MD, MPH, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB
    • Molecular Residual Disease (MRD) Guided Adjuvant Therapy in Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) - MRD GATE RCC
  • Kimberley Lee, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center        
    • Understanding Racial Differences in Ovarian Function Suppression (OFS) Decision Making and Initiation Among Young Women with Breast Cancer        
  • Yuxuan Wang, MD, PhD, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins           
    • Simultaneous Detection of Genetic and Epigenetic Changes for Diagnosis and Localization of Early-Stage Cancers   

Julia Agne, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research InstituteArnab Basu, MD, MPH, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UABKimberley Lee, MD, Moffitt Cancer CenterYuxuan Wang, MD, PhD, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins







Left to right: Drs. Agne, Basu, Lee, and Wang.

The four researchers, who are all from NCCN Member Institutions, will present their results at a future NCCN Annual Conference. Seven past YIA recipients recently presented their own findings during the NCCN 2023 Annual Conference, which took place March 31 – April 2 in Orlando, FL. They provided new information on lung cancer, skin cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and palliative care. Those abstracts are now available at, the online home of JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

“These awardees are tomorrow’s leaders in oncology,” said Patrick Delaney, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. “By providing crucial support at a pivotal point early in their careers, we hope to pave the way for even more success in the future. Past NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awardees have gone on to make significant contributions in important areas like CAR T-cell therapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, racial disparities, and cancer early-detection. We applaud all of their efforts to make the world better for people with cancer and their loved ones.”

The NCCN Foundation has awarded more than $10.3 million since 2011 through the YIA program, to a total of 70 researchers. This year’s awards were made possible through support from AbbVie; Amgen, Inc.; Exelixis, Inc., and Pfizer, Inc.

Learn more about past YIA recipients and how to contribute to promising new research by visiting

# # #

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. 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 for more information.

About the NCCN Foundation

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