What's New

Annual Meeting


Contact: Amanda Narod




ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The use of genomic sequencing, understanding the role of epigenetics in tumor progression in non-small cell lung cancer, and identifying novel targeted therapy combinations are among the topics of research being presented by grant and award recipients at this year’s premier oncology meeting in Chicago. The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will present more than $5 million in grants and awards to more than 200 promising oncology researchers at ASCO’s 48th Annual Meeting, taking place June 1-5, 2012.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation is dedicated to advancing the care of people with cancer by supporting vital cancer research and investigator career development. Our grants and awards program, one of the most extensive in the world, supports clinicians and ground-breaking research in the practice of oncology,” said Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. “Research conducted by this year’s honorees will improve the lives of cancer patients as it draws us closer to creating a world free from the fear of cancer.”

With a focus on clinical and translational research, the Foundation’s Grants and Awards Program has grown and diversified into one of the largest grant programs among professional medical societies. Since its inception over 28 years ago, it has awarded more than $77 million to researchers worldwide, contributing to improved care for patients with cancer in every corner of the globe. Since 1984, the Grants and Awards Program has launched the careers of more than 800 physician-scientists - many of whom have become leaders in the field of oncology and have continued to receive additional research funding from the Foundation throughout their careers.

Drug Development Research Professorship
The Drug Development Research Professorship is designed to provide flexible funding to outstanding researchers who have made, and are continuing to make, significant contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research. The award supports researchers in exploring new and promising therapeutic compounds that will lead to improved treatments and mentoring young researchers in the scientific and regulatory aspects of drug development. This year’s recipient is:

  • Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    Development of the toll-like receptor 5 agonist, CBLB502 for cancer therapy.

Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer
The Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) is designed to fund investigators who are committed to clinical cancer research in an area not currently funded. The ACRA supports physician-scientists in their fourth to ninth year of faculty appointment to perform original research, and provides a three-year grant totaling $450,000. This year’s ACRA recipient and research project is:

  • Janette Vardy, MD, PhD, The University of Sydney
    Cognitive rehabilitation for breast cancer survivors with perceived cognitive impairment.

Merit Awards
The Merit Awards are designed to promote clinical cancer research by young investigators and to provide them with the opportunity to present their research and interact with other oncology researchers at the ASCO Annual Meeting. This year, the Foundation will distribute 105 Merit Awards to oncology fellows who submitted high-quality research for presentation at the Annual Meeting. Five of these researchers will receive Special Merit Awards, including the inaugural James B. Nachman ASCO Junior Faculty Award in Pediatric Oncology. Established in memory of James B. Nachman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago and an internationally renowned pediatric cancer expert, this award is given to a junior faculty member who submitted the highest-ranking abstract in pediatric oncology. This year’s Special Merit Award recipients each authored the highest-ranking abstracts in select categories:

James B. Nachman ASCO Junior Faculty Award in Pediatric Oncology

  • Yael P. Mosse, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    Efficacy of crizotinib in children with relapsed/refractory ALK-driven tumors including anaplastic large cell lymphoma and neuroblastoma: A Children’s Oncology Group phase I consortium study.
  • Giles W.Robinson, MD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Use of whole genome sequencing to identify novel mutations in distinct subgroups of medulloblastoma.

Bradley Stuart Beller Special Merit Award 

  • Tom Waddell, MBChB, MRCP, Royal Marsden Hospital
    A randomized, multicenter trial of epirubicin, oxaliplatin, and capecitabine (EOC) with or without panitumumab in previously untreated advanced esophagogastric cancer (REAL3).

Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award

  • Fernanda I. Arnaldez, MD, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
    Identification of TNK2 as a critical kinase in rhabdomyosarcoma through a loss of function shRNA screen.

Pain and Symptom Management Research Merit Award

  • Lisa K. Sprod, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
    Physical activity participation and functional limitations in geriatric cancer survivors.

To view the full list of 2012 Merit Award recipients, please click here.

Career Development Awards
The Career Development Award (CDA) provides funding to clinical investigators, who have received their initial faculty appointment, to establish an independent clinical cancer research program. This year’s 11 recipients will each receive a three-year grant totaling $200,000. The 2012 recipients and their research projects are:

  • Philippe Bedard, MD, FRCPC, Princess Margaret Hospital
    A randomized, open-label phase II trial of combined pathway blockade for PI3K and MAPK pathway mutated breast, colorectal, non-small cell lung, and ovarian cancer.
  • Mrinal Gounder, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    A phase III, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of sorafenib in desmoid tumors or aggressive fibromatosis (DT/DF).
  • Michaela Higgins, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    A phase II trial of cabozantinib in women with metastatic hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer with involvement of bone.
  • Alan Ho, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Targeting the oncogenic transcription factor c-myb in adenoid cystic carcinomas.
  • Gopakumar Iyer, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    TSC-1: Mutational analysis and clinical impact in metastatic bladder cancer.
  • Rom Leidner, MD, Case Western Reserve University
    Molecular cytology in Barrett’s esophagus.
  • Kasiani Myers, MD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Chemoprevention of leukemia in a genetically susceptible population.
  • Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Characterizing a new familial lung cancer syndrome through the identification and study of patients with germline EGFR mutations.
  • Paul Paik, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung mutation analysis program (SQ-MAP).
  • William William, Jr., MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Non-coding RNAs as predictive biomarkers of benefit from epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted therapies in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Toni Zhong, MD, University Health Network
    The use of human acellular dermal matrix in one-stage implant breast reconstruction: A multicentered, randomized controlled trial.

Young Investigator Awards
The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. The award funds physicians, who are within the last two years of their final subspecialty training at an academic institution, to aid their transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. This year’s 42 awardees will each receive a one-year grant of $50,000 to fund their investigative studies as they begin their careers in oncology research. To view the full list of YIA recipients, please click here.

International Development and Education Award
The International Development and Education Award (IDEA) provides opportunities for early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries to further their knowledge and careers and establish strong long-term relationships with leading ASCO members who serve as scientific mentors to each recipient. This year 24 awardees are participating in the IDEA program, including four oncologists who have an interest in palliative care (PC). This year’s IDEA recipients are:

  • Yazan Abuodeh, MBBS, King Hussein Cancer Center
  • Sandhya Acharya, MD, MBBS, National Academy of Medical Sciences, Bir Hospital
  • Adeyinka Francis Ademola, MBBS, University College Hospital
  • Nicolas Castagneris, MD, Oncological Institute of Cordoba
  • Kezhong Chen, MD, Peking University People’s Hospital
  • Shi-Jiang Fei, MD, Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute
  • Irine Gagua, MD, National Cancer Center of Georgia
  • Hoover Henriquez Cooper, MD, Hospital General San Felipe
  • Mercy Isichei, MBBS, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi
  • Rahul Krishnatry, MD, Tata Memorial Hospital
  • Susheel Kumar, MBBS, FCPS, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre
  • Milena Mak, MD, Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo - University of Sao Paulo
  • Catherine Mwaba, MD, FC RAD ONC SA, Cancer Diseases Hospital
  • Evangeline Njiru, MD, Moi University
  • Alexey Novik, MD, PhD, N.N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology
  • Kristina Orlova, MD, N. N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center
  • Pooja Nandwani Patel, MD, Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute
  • Gaurav Prakash, MD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Mateus Sahani, MD, Agir Ensemble
  • Emadeldin Shash, MD, MSc, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University

2012 International Development and Education Award in Palliative Care

  • Munesh Lakhey, MD, MBBS, B P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital
  • Monica Malik, MD, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Tonia Onyeka, MBBS, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Nigeria
  • Rakesh Roy, MD, ECMO, Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Research Institute

Long-term International Fellowship
The Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) provides early-career oncologists in developing nations the support and resources needed to advance their training through a one-year fellowship with a U.S. or Canadian colleague at the colleague’s institution. When the recipients return home, they in turn apply the new knowledge and skills gained from the valuable training experience in their country. The 2012 recipients are:

  • Luiz Henriquede Lima Araujo, MD, MSc, Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA)
    Molecular profile of lung adenocarcinoma in Brazil
  • Guochun Zhang, MD, PhD, Guangdong General Hospital
    Inhibiting STAT5 in breast cancer prevention

Medical Student Rotation Award
The Medical Student Rotation for Underrepresented Populations (MSR) provides 8- to 10-week clinical or clinical research oncology rotations for U.S. medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine who are interested in pursuing oncology as a career. As part of the program, awardees work with a mentor oncologist who provides ongoing academic and career support. This year’s recipients are:

  • Kathlene Babalola, University of Pittsburgh
  • Colby Cantu, University of Wisconsin
  • Brainerd Erhiawarien, University of Maryland
  • Jacquelyne Gaddy, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Giorgio Guiulfo, University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Eva Hudgins, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jaselyn Justiniano-Torres, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
  • Teresa Martin-Carreras, University of Central Florida College of Medicine
  • Jonathan Christopher Martinez, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Armando Villanueva, University of Kansas Medical Center

Resident Travel Award
The Resident Travel Award (RTA) for Underrepresented Populations provides financial support for residents from underrepresented populations to attend ASCO’s Annual Meeting. This year’s awardees are:

  • Miguel Albino, MD, Veterans Affairs Caribbean Healthcare
  • Ibiayi Dagogo-Jack, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Alejandro Garcia, MD, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Efe Williams Iyamu, MD, PhD, Meharry Medical College
  • Catherine Renee Lewis, MD, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Melody Smith, MD, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  • Justin Taylor, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Supporting Organizations:

  • Drug Development Research Professorship - Sanofi Oncology
  • Advanced Clinical Research Award - The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Merit Awards - Amgen, Astellas, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene Corporation, Jackson Simpson, Lilly USA, LLC, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Onyx Pharmaceuticals
  • Career Development Awards - Amgen, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Genentech BioOncologyTM (5), Lilly USA, LLC, Roche (2),  Sarcoma Foundation of America
  • Young Investigator Award - Abbott Oncology, Amgen, Astellas (2), The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (2), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Don Shula Foundation, Inc., Eisai Inc., Estate of Sandra Syms, Genentech BioOncologyTM (5), Journal of Clinical Oncology, Kidney Cancer Association, Lilly USA, LLC, Merck Oncology, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company (2), Novartis (2), Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Oncology, Roche (5), Sarcoma Foundation of America, Seattle Genetics, Strike 3 Foundation, Teva Pharmaceuticals, William D. Piety Living Trust, WWWW Foundation, Inc. (QuadW) and The Sarcoma Fund of the QuadW Foundation
  • International Development and Education Award - Amgen, Avon Foundation for Women, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Eisai Inc., Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
  • International Development and Education Award in Palliative Care - National Cancer Institute, Open Society Foundation
  • Long-Term International Fellowship - Amgen, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Medical Student Rotation Award - Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
  • Resident Travel Award - American Society of Clinical Oncology



About the American Society of Clinical Oncology
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs, and peer-reviewed journals.  ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.