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NCCN Foundation Announces Young Investigator Awards

The NCCN Foundation has awarded grants to five young investigators from the NCCN Member Institutions as part of its first Young Investigator Awards Program. Awards focus on assessing and improving outcomes of cancer care and carry grants of $150,000 over a two-year period.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The NCCN Foundation, which through private philanthropy and grants, advances the mission of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to improve the quality and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer, has awarded grants to five young investigators from the NCCN Member Institutions dedicated to advancing and discovering new treatments for cancer. The awards are the first ever made by the NCCN Foundation through its newly formed Young Investigator Awards Program. Each of the funded research initiatives will focus on assessing or improving outcomes of cancer care and carry grants of $150,000 over a two-year period. Funding will begin August 1, 2011.

Throughout its history, NCCN has taken a leadership role in developing standards of care for delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and measuring outcomes. These grants not only strengthen our overall program in this critical area, but they also contribute to nurturing the next generation of cancer researchers in this country. We are very proud that we are able to make these awards at a time when both of these issues, defining quality in cancer care and supporting science, are so important, said William McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NCCN.

Congratulations to the 2011 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awardees:

  • Kenneth Carson, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Medical Oncology, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Carson`s research initiative is titled National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guideline adherence in veterans with diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma: Predicting adherence and influence of adherence on survival.
  • Nadine Jackson McCleary, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jackson McCleary`s research initiative is titled Improving treatment outcomes of older individuals with colorectal cancer: Impact of duration and onset of adjuvant chemotherapy treatment on survival and predictive utility of geriatric assessment in advanced colorectal cancer.
  • Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Health System. Dr. Jagsi`s research initiative is titled A nationwide physician survey to evaluate the role of the NCCN Guidelines in cancer management recommendations.
  • Joanne Lester, PhD, CRNP, ANP-BC, AOCN, Research Scientist and Oncology Nurse Practitioner, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute; Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Ohio State University. Dr. Lester`s research initiative is titled Effect of survivorship care planning on distress: A randomized control trial with leukemia and breast cancer survivors.
  • William P. Tew, MD, Assistant Attending Physician, Gynecologic Medical Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Tew`s research initiative is titled Geriatric assessment and intervention in elderly women with ovarian cancer.

The awardees responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the NCCN Foundation to the 21 NCCN Member Institutions. All submissions were reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel of oncology experts, and the awardees were selected based on several key components, including scientific merit and study design.

This is an important and exciting initiative for NCCN and its Foundation. We are very pleased to have received such a large number of excellent proposals. This allowed us to make these awards to a diverse group of top young researchers, addressing different cancer types and issues, all very much in the scope of the NCCN mission, said Paul F. Engstrom, MD, Senior Vice President for Extramural Research Programs, Fox Chase Cancer Center, a member of the review committee. 

These awards were made possible via contributions from the following companies: Amgen Inc., Genentech, Inc., Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer Oncology.

The NCCN Foundation was initiated in 2010, with a key goal in the first year of raising funds for the development and distribution of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients™. Six of these guidelines for patients are now available with another 10 planned for the coming year. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients™ use the same treatment algorithms that are the hallmark of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™), but are translated into a more user-friendly format utilizing language for non-professional audiences. The first Young Investigator Awards represent another major programmatic initiative for the NCCN Foundation