Young Investigator Awards

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation®each year announce new recipients for the 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) manages the selection process and provides guidance and oversight for the projects over the grant duration.

Recent YIA Recipients

Zachary Burke, MDZachary Burke, MD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • Identification and Exploitation of Collateral Sensitivity in Treatment Resistant Osteosarcoma
Calista Harbaugh, MD, MS, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • Leveraging Hospital Networks to Optimize Guidelines-Concordant Cancer Care
Alexander Muir, PhDAlexander Muir, PhD, The UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Targeting Microenvironmental Synthetic Lethalities in Pancreatic Cancer
Andreas Rauschecker, MD, PhD, MScAndreas Rauschecker, MD, PhD, MSc, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Deep Learning Radiogenomic Analysis of Primary CNS Lymphoma on Brain MRI
James Smithy, MD, MHSJames Smithy, MD, MHS, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • A Phase 2 Trial of IO102/IO103 and Nivolumab-Relatlimab Fixed-dose Combination in Previously Untreated, Unresectable Melanoma
Julia Agne, MD Julia Agne, MD, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Patient- and Caregiver-Triggered Palliative Referrals via an Electronic Symptom Monitoring Program
Arnab Basu, MD, MPH, FACP Arnab Basu, MD, MPH, FACP, 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 Kimberley Lee, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Understanding Racial Differences in Ovarian Function Suppression (OFS) Decision Making and Initiation Among Young Women with Breast Cancer
Dr.-Wang-Headshot-sized 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
chakraborty_Headshot_small-finalAbhishek Chakraborty, PhD, Cleveland Clinic/Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Functional In Vivo Genetic Screens Identify Oncogenic Vulnerabilities in Kidney Cancer
Fountzilas_small_FinalChristos Fountzilas, MD, FACP, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Novel Combination Therapy for Colorectal and Esophagogastric Cancers
frosch headshot-small-finalZachary Frosch, MD, MSHP, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Developing Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Equitable Access to Cellular Therapies
tang_Headshot_small-finalChad Tang, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Spatial Evolution of Immune Cell Dysfunction during Development of Oligometastatic RCC and its Perturbation by Radiation Therapy
tergas_small_FinalAna 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
tobin_Headshot_small-finalRichard Tobin, PhD, University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • Enhancing MAIT Cell Antitumor Activity by Epigenetic Priming in Mucosal Melanoma
zhao headshot-jsShuang (George) Zhao, MD, MS, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Liquid Biomarkers of Response to Radium-223 in Metastatic Prostate Cancer


Akbay_Headshot_small-finalEsra Akbay, PhD, UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Activating Anti-Tumor Innate Immunity to Overcome Checkpoint Blockade Resistance in NSCLC
Jackson_small_FinalWilliam C. Jackson, MD, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • A Phase II Randomized Trial of Moderate versus Ultra-Hypofractionated Post-Prostatectomy Radiation Therapy
Moding headshot-small-finalEverett Moding, MD, PhD, Stanford Cancer Institute
  • Resolving Sarcoma Evolution During Tumor Development and Radiation Therapy
Navuluri_Headshot_small-finalNeelima Navuluri, MD, MPH, Duke Cancer Institute
  • Intervention Mapping to Improve Lung Cancer Screening Among Black Veterans
Parikh_small_FinalRavi Parikh, MD, MPP, The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Machine Learning and Behavioral Nudges to Improve Palliative Care Utilization in Advanced Cancer
Stephens_Headshot_small-finalDeborah Stephens, DO, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Non-melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL): Biology and Prevention
zebley headshot-jsCaitlin Zebley, MD, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Epigenetic Reprogramming of CAR T-Cell Therapy


CzechowiczAgnieszka 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)
IamsWade T. Iams, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Quantifying Minimal Residual Disease in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer
MehtaShivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Choice Architecture and Mailed Colorectal Cancer Screening Outreach in a Community Health Setting
MianOmar Y. Mian, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor and Associate Staff, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • Modulating Intratumoral Androgen Biosynthesis to Selectively Sensitize Prostate Cancer to Radiotherapy
RaoofMustafa Raoof, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute
  • Targeting Transcription-Replication Conflicts in KRAS-driven Pancreatic Cancer
ShengJennifer Y. Sheng, MD, Assistant Professor in Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • An Adaptive Nutrition and Exercise Weight loss (A-NEW) Study for Breast Cancer Survivors


Past YIA Recipients 

View the YIA Program Hall of Fame to learn more about the program.