Young Investigator Award

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. The purpose of this grant is to fund physicians during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment.

The Young Investigator Award is a one-year grant totaling $50,000 to pay for personnel and/or research expenses, and travel to attend the Conquer Cancer Grants and Awards Ceremony at the ASCO Annual Meeting. The number of YIA grants in each funding cycle is not predetermined by Conquer Cancer. Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds.

Conquer Cancer has dedicated funding in several areas for 2020 including but not limited to: brain cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, health disparities, immunothereapy, kidney cancer, lung cancer, practice management/information technology, pediatric cancer, and sarcoma. Dedicated funding is also available for female researchers, and researchers from Florida and underrepresented populations. Conquer Cancer also encourages applications in other areas.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Young Investigator Award:

  • Be a physician (MD, DO, or international equivalent) working in any country and currently in the last two years of his/her final subspecialty training at an academic medical institution and within 10 years of obtaining his/her medical degree at the time of grant submission. Examples of subspecialty training include, but are not limited to, a hematology-oncology fellowship, a surgical oncology fellowship, or a radiation oncology residency.  An MD, PhD is eligible if both degrees are completed prior to the start of the grant period.
  • Be planning an investigative career in clinical oncology.
  • Have a valid, active medical license in the country where the research will be conducted at the time of application.
  • An institutional commitment for a faculty appointment at the time of grant submission is not required, but the applicant should be working in an oncology laboratory or clinical research setting.
  • Have a mentor in the proposed research field from the sponsoring institution.  The mentor must assume responsibility and provide guidance for the research. If the mentor is not an ASCO member, a supporting letter from an ASCO member from the sponsoring institution must be included.
  • Be an ASCO member or have submitted a membership application with the grant application. To apply for new membership, or to renew an existing membership, go to
  • Be able to commit at least 60% of full- time effort in research (applies to total research, not just the proposed project) during the award period.
  • Eligible physicians are allowed to hold only one grant from Conquer Cancer at a time.

Application Instructions

All applications must be submitted in accordance to the requirements and instructions of the Young Investigator Award Request for Proposals (RFP). All application materials must be in English and must be submitted through the Grants Portal. Paper applications or applications sent by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.


Conquerors in Action

Conquerors in Action:  Our Young Investigators

Watch this video to learn how the Young Investigator Award (YIA) Program provides critical seed funding for early-career investigators doing cutting edge cancer research.

The Young Investigator Award was first awarded in 1984. To date, Conquer Cancer has funded 1,167 promising investigators across the globe totaling more than $50 million.

2018 Young Investigator Award Recipients

Rajiv Agarwal, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Evaluating the Impact of Proactive Palliative Care in Patients Initiating Phase I Targeted or Immune-Based Cancer Therapeutics: A Randomized Controlled Trial
David Aggen, MD, PhD
Columbia University
Targeting Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Renal Cell Cancer with Combination IL-1 Beta and PD-1 Blockade
Kathryn Arbour, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Combination MEK and FGFR-1 Inhibition in KRAS-mutant NSCLC: A Phase I Dose Escalation Trial of Trametinib and Ponatinib
Marina Baretti, MD
Johns Hopkins University
A Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Entinostat in Combination with Nivolumab for Patients with Previously Treated Unresectable or Metastatic Cholangiocarcinoma and Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
Allison Betof Warner, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Exercise Regulation of Immune Activation and Response in Cancer: Implications for Immunotherapy
Andrew Bruggeman, MD
University of California, San Diego
Integration of Palliative Care into the Radiation Oncology Clinic
Zachary Buchwald, MD, PhD
Emory University
The role of the tumor draining lymph node in induction of the abscopal effect
Jad Chahoud, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Identification of viral and immune biomarkers for metastasis and poor survival in penile squamous cell carcinoma
Huizi Chen, MD, PhD
The Ohio State University
Research Autopsy for Characterization of Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer
Eric Christenson, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Characterizing the Impact of the APOBEC3A-B Deletion in Breast Cancer Development and Probing Therapeutic Vulnerability
Jennifer Crombie, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
A Phase II Study of Duvelisib and Venetoclax in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
Anastasios Dimou, MD
University of Colorado
MHC genotype in shaping the risk for EGFR mutation driven lung cancer
Adam Durbin, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Epigenetic dissection of core-regulatory circuity in rhabdomyosarcoma
Hany Elmariah, MD, MS
Johns Hopkins University
CD8 Depleted, Non-Engrafting, HLA mismatched Unrelated Donor Lymphocyte Infusion for Patients with MDS and Secondary AML
Penny Fang, MD, MBA
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Microbiome Profile as a Predictive Biomarker for Cervical Cancer Response to Chemoradiation and Immunotherapy Treatment
Tim Ferng, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Identifying Synthetic Lethal Interactions in FLT3-mutant Acute Myeloid Leukemia Using Dynamic BH3 Profiling
Ana Garrido-Castro, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Evaluating the immune landscape of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and identifying predictive biomarkers of response to PD-1 inhibition
Carl Gay, MD, PhD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Targeting DNA damage response via ATR inhibition to enhance PARP and PD-L1 blockade in small cell lung cancer.
Karthik Giridhar, MD
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Comprehensive, serial androgen receptor variant profiling in peripheral blood and metastatic biopsies to identify predictive biomarkers to abiraterone acetate in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer.
Colin Godwin, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Novel Antibodies to the C2-set Domain of CD33 for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Immunotherapy
Pedram Heidari, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Enhancing anti-tumor effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors with molecular radiotherapy in neuroendocrine neoplasms
Wade Iams, MD
Northwestern University
Understanding dynamic somatic genomic changes and hereditary predisposition in patients with small cell lung cancer
Megan Insco, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Investigating Transcriptional CDK13 in Melanoma
Russell Jenkins, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Effect of EZH2 Inhibition on De-Repression of Endogenous Retroviruses and Response to PD-1 Blockade in Melanoma
Allison Kaeding, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Validation of Mesothelin as a Novel Disease Marker and Therapeutic Target in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Tyler Ketterl, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Feasibility of a Resistance Training Intervention in Adolescent and Young Adult Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Survivors
Niloufer Khan, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Impact of the intestinal microbiome on outcomes after autologous stem cell transplantation for hematologic malignancies.
Chul Kim, MD, MPH
Georgetown University
Targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway with durvalumab in virus-infected patients with NSCLC
Paul Koller, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Defining the function and targeting HIF-2 alpha in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Andrew Laccetti, MD, MS
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Remote monitoring of patient reported outcomes with Fitbit to enable longitudinal predictive modeling in prostate cancer
Lauren Levine, MD, MS
University of California, San Francisco
Defining the Contribution of Systemic Immunity to Effective Tumor Rejection in Advanced Melanoma
Ang Li, MD
University of Washington
Real-World Assessment of Thrombosis in Patients with Multiple Myeloma on Immunomodulatory Drugs (IMID)
Eben Lichtman, MD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Pre-Clinical Evaluation of B7H3-Specific Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Jessica Lin, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Understanding the tumor heterogeneity and evolution of fusion-driven NSCLC
David Liu, MD, MPH
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting Response and Resistance to Immune and Targeted Therapies in Metastatic Melanoma Through Clinical Computational Oncology
Sydney Lu, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Therapeutic Targeting of RNA Splicing Factor mutant Leukemias via Inhibiting Protein Arginine Methylation
Liam Macleod, MD, MPH
University of Pittsburgh
Quality, Regionalization and Access in Advanced Kidney Cancer
Abhishek Mangaonkar, MBBS
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
To define the role of aberrant DNA methylation in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
Steven Maron, MD
University of Chicago
Intra-patient tumor immune environment heterogeneity and immune checkpoint blockade resistance
Kamal Menghrajani, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Histone Methyltransferase Inhibitor (Pinometostat) with Azacitidine Combination Therapy in Patients with Relapsed / Refractory MLL-rearranged Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Douglas Micalizzi, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
The Role of the Histone Methyltransferase, NSD1, in Circulating Tumor Cell Survival and Metastasis
Brian Miller, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting Exhausted T Cell Subpopulations to Improve Anti-PD-1 Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma
Devarati Mitra, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Radiation therapy in immune checkpoint inhibitor resistant head and neck cancer
Ankur Nagaraja, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Targeting the DNA Damage Response in Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma
Hong Ha Rosa Nguyen, MD
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Optimizing immunotherapy in neuroblastoma and understanding the role of NK cells
Maliha Nusrat, MBBS
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Modulation of anti-tumor immune response in colorectal cancer through PI3K-AKT pathway inhibition.
Daniel O'Neil, MD, MPH
Columbia University
Quality of Breast Cancer Care in Five Public Hospitals in South Africa and Effects on Survival
Eileen Parkes, MBBS, PhD
Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
Activating the STING immune pathway in combination with anti-PD-1 agents in High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
Ravi Patel, MD, PhD
University of Wisconsin
Determining the dose and timing of systemic targeted radiation therapy with dual systemic checkpoint blockade.
Zachary Reitman, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Identifying therapeutic dependencies in PPM1D-mutated diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
Rachael Rowswell-Turner, MD, PhD
University of Rochester
The Role of HE4 in Ovarian Cancer Immune Suppression and its Potential as a Therapeutic Target
Alejandro Sanchez, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mechanistic Underpinnings of Sarcopenia and Adverse Outcomes in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Shawn Sarkaria, MD
Columbia University
Targeting PDGFRa-Expressing Stromal Cells in Primary Myelofibrosis
Alison Schram, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Predictors of Response and Mechanisms of Resistance to TRK Inhibition in TRK Fusion-Positive Solid Tumors
Eugene Shenderov, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Neoadjuvant B7-H3 Blockade and Immune Marker Analysis in Men with Localized Intermediate and High-Risk Prostate Cancer
David Shulman, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Evaluation of ctDNA as a prognostic biomarker in patients with localized Ewing sarcoma
Adam Sperling, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Quantitative measurement of lenalidomide targets using a novel immunoaffinity enrichment and targeted mass spectrometry assay.
Paolo Strati, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
A Phase I/Ib Pilot Study of Combined Trabectedin and Venetoclax in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma Resistant or Intolerant to a BTK inhibitor
Brian Sworder, MD, PhD
Stanford University
Determination of B-Cell Receptor Antigen Recognition as a Framework Toward Patient-Specific Lymphoma Therapy
Jessica Tao, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Augmenting the Immune Response to Checkpoint Blockade with PARP Inhibition in Tumors with Homologous Recombination Deficiency
Diane Tseng, MD, PhD
Stanford University
Single-cell analysis of T cell clonality and functional state in non-small cell lung cancer
Sherilyn Tuazon, MD, MS
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Optimizing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma Using a Novel 211Astatine Radiolabeled Anti-CD38 Monoclonal Antibody Conditioning Regimen
Neil Vasan, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dual compound PIK3CA mutations in the pathogenesis and treatment of metastatic breast cancer
Adrienne Waks, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Identifying mechanisms of resistance to DNA-damaging therapy in BRCA1/2-deficient metastatic breast cancer
Audrey Wallace, MD, MS
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Quantifying the burden of breast cancer decision making in older women
Seth Wander, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Exploring Retinoblastoma-Dependent Mechanisms of Resistance to Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors in Metastatic, Hormone-Receptor Positive Breast Cancer
Adam Waxman, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Incidence and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Toxicity among Patients with Multiple Myeloma Receiving Proteasome Inhibitors
Ruth White, MD, PhD
Columbia University
Cholinergic Regulation of the Neural Microenvironment in Pancreatic Cancer
Clinton Yam, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Role of the PI3K pathway in promoting immune evasion and resistance to systemic therapy in triple negative breast cancer
Jessica Yang, MD
Columbia University
Efficacy of Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal (BET) Protein Inhibition in Advanced Uveal Melanoma
Daniel Yokom, MD
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada
A prospective study of dynamic frailty monitoring in older adults receiving adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy
Neeha Zaidi, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Neoantigen-Targeted Combination Immunotherapy in a Murine Model of Pancreatic Cancer


The 2018 Young Investigator Awards are supported by: 

   FLASCO    Gateway             

Leonard Family Foundation Lilly
Lung Cancer Alliance
Strike3 Foundation

ASCO Clinical Practice Committee and State Affiliate Council
ASCO/CCF Employees
Conquer Cancer Foundation
Estate of Darla C. Ellis
Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation
The Hayden Family Foundation
Incyte Corporation
Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust
Miodrag Kukrika, MD 
Greg Parekh/New Rhein Healthcare, LLC
Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, FASCO, and Susan M. DaSilva, PhD
Aaron and Barbro Sasson
Shawn C. Tomasello
Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

This list reflects commitments as of July 15, 2018.

This grant receives support that may result in a report to the CMS Open Payments website under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The supporting companies are required to report the amount of the grant, the names of physicians who are awarded this grant, and the names of their institutions. This information may appear on the Open Payments website. Find out more information about the Sunshine Act and CMS Open Payments program.