Fellowship Application Guidelines

Fellowships from NCC are established at $40,000 per annum for post-doctoral awards, and are awarded annually. Fellowships are intended for applicants under age 35 with less than two years of post- doctoral laboratory experience, except in extenuating circumstances. Fellowships are also limited to applicants having received no more than one prior fellowship or one career development award. Individuals receiving concurrent support from another organization are not eligible to apply.

Preference will be given to studies that have direct relevance to the diagnosis and treatment of human cancer.

Fellowship awards are not necessarily restricted to salary. Depending on the circumstances, part of the funds may be used for supplies or other valid expenses, which should be listed in the proposed budget. NCC reserves the right to delete any item it deems inappropriate.

The fellowship may be transferable upon application and review, in the event that the fellow leaves the sponsoring organization.

Fellowships generally are extended for a second year. However, adequate progress must have been demonstrated during the first year as evidenced through a progress report submitted with renewal application. Awards are limited to one per laboratory. There can be several different applications if they are on different topics. However, only one award could be made per lab in any round of applications.

NCC fellowship grants do not include funds for institutional overhead and a statement by the institution accepting this condition is required.


2020 New and Renewed Research Grants


2020 Grants


Total Grand Funding To Date

National Cancer Center 2020/2021 Grants

The following post-doc fellowship grants and renewals were approved for 2020/2021

Manqi Zhang, Ph.D.

Duke University, Durham, NC

PROJECT: Loss of ALK4 promotes EMT through regulation of Golgi-mediated receptor glycosylation in pancreatic cancer

“Loss of ALK4 function via mutation of loss of expression is a frequent event in pancreatic cancer and associated with poor clinical outcomes. The NCC grant allows me to study the mechanism by which loss of ALK4 function contributes to cancer progression and metastasis.”


Ibtehaj Naqvi, M.D., Ph.D.

Duke University, Durham, NC

PROJECT: Mitigating inflammation using nucleic acid scavengers to prevent breast cancer metastasis

“I am studying how chronic inflammation promotes breast cancer metastasis and I am using a novel polymer-based approach to block this chronic inflammation and prevent breast cancer metastasis.”


Sohini Chakraborty, Ph.D.

New York Univ School of Medicine, New York, NY

PROJECT: Therapeutic targeting of stem cells in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia

“I am studying how the cell surface protein CD97 promotes stem cell function in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia, and if it may be therapeutically targeted with antibodies.”


Mireia Perez Verdaguer, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

PROJECT: Improving the Tumor-Suppressing Efficacy of EGFR Antibodies on Head-and-Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

“Despite the well-established role of EGFR in tumorigenesis, Cetuximab, a therapeutic EGFR antibody, helps only a small fraction of patients. This project aims to understand whether inhibition of stress-induced signaling processes may increase accessibility of EGFR to Cetuximab and improve its antitumoral effectiveness.”


David M. Gau, Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

PROJECT: Profilin-1 as a Target for Vascular Normalization and Treatment for Renal Cell Carcinoma
“A common theme of clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common subtype of kidney cancer, is the highly vascularized nature of the tumor environment. Anti-angiogenic treatments for this type of cancer typically will see cancer progression due to innate resistant mechanisms. I was interested in this project due to my previous PhD work on identifying fundamental targets to regulate blood vessel formation, that is, targeting processes that have limited alternative mechanisms.”

Giulia Cova, Ph.D.

New York University Medical Center, New York, NY

PROJECT: Defining the mechanisms by which genetic alterations in CTCF and CTCFL drive oncogenic transcription programs
“DNA is packaged within the nucleus in a highly organized manner which is important for gene regulation. Appropriate DNA folding relies on the architectural protein CTCF that is frequently genetically altered in cancer.  The goal of my project is to understand how these lesions contribute to oncogenic programs.”

Siva Karthik Varanasi, Ph.D.

Salk Inst for Biological Studies

PROJECT: Evaluating the role of bile acids as a metabolic checkpoint of anti-tumor T cell Hepatocellular Carcinoma
“The project is aimed at understanding how bile acids that accumulate within liver tumors suppress the anti-tumor immune responses of T cells.”

Atma Maria Ivancevic, Ph.D.

Regents of the Univ of Colorado

PROJECT: Elucidating the functional and genomic impact of retrocopies on cancer
“My research investigates a novel role for ancient retroviruses in causing human disease, focusing on their potential to change the expression of nearby genes in cancer cells.”

Joy Bianchi, Ph.D.

NYU Langone Health

PROJECT: Targeting copy number alterations to overcome immune evasion in melanoma
“I am interested in identifying new biomarkers to predict melanoma patients’ response to immunotherapy by studying the relationship between the capacity of tumor cells to escape our immune system and chromosomal abnormalities in cancer.”

William Maguire, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Pittsburgh

PROJECT: Biomarkers of sulforaphane for therapeutic prevention of melanoma
“My research interests comprise early phase drug development in the field of therapeutic prevention of melanoma.  The lack of systemic agents to prevent melanoma represents an important unmet need, given that the incidence of melanoma in the United States continues to rise more rapidly than that of most other common cancers.”

Haopeng Xiao, Ph.D.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

PROJECT: Proteomic approaches to investigate Redox control in cancer
“In this proposal, a proteomic strategy will be developed to identify cysteine signaling sites of reactive oxygen species that play crucial cancer-driving versus cancer-inhibiting roles.”

Siang-Boon Koh, Ph.D.

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

PROJECT: Synergistic targeting of DNA damage response and EMT pathways to reverse RASAL2-driven chemoresistance
“I am studying the mechanisms of treatment resistance in aggressive breast cancer, with the goal to devise more effective and rational therapies against these tumors.”