National Cancer Center Announces Recipients of 2023-24 Research Fellowship Awards

All six first-time award winners are women

15 awards representing more than $750K marks another record year of financial support for postdoctoral cancer research

Grants benefit researchers at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, New York University Medical School, Cleveland Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, The University of California, Los Angeles, and The University of California, San Francisco, among other institutions

NEW YORK – June 2023 – The National Cancer Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023-24 research grant awards, which support research fellows pursuing promising and innovative cancer research.

This year’s class of 15 recipients—six first-time awards and nine renewals—hail from China, India, Bangladesh, Italy, Mexico, South Korea and the U.S., forming a truly global cohort. Notably, and for the first time, all six first-time award winners are women.

Projects being funded include potential treatments for colon, gastric, breast and prostate cancers, metastatic melanoma and follicular lymphoma.

National Cancer Center is delighted to report that this total funding for the 2023-24 year grew by 9.4% to an annual record of $768,000. This increase comes on top of similar advances in recent years: Between 2020 and 2023, National Cancer Center has increased the total funds awarded by nearly 35%.

First-time recipients will receive $50,000 and are eligible to receive a renewal grant of $52,000 if she has demonstrated significant progress at the conclusion of the first year.

“For 70 years, National Cancer Center has sought to identify and fund promising projects by the best up-and-coming cancer research fellows,” said Regina English, Executive Director of the National Cancer Center. “We are excited by the energy and diversity of this year’s award winners, we are hopeful about their progress, and we are grateful to the members of our Scientific Advisory Board who commit their expertise to select the most promising projects.”

Recipients of the new postdoc fellowship awards, of $50,000 each, are: Tanzina Tanu, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Sydney Moyer, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Xiawei Wu, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Guimei Jiang, Ph.D., New York University; Minzeng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Chitra Rawat, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic.

In addition, the NCC renewed grants, in the amount of $52,000 each, to: He Eric Zhu, Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Pietro Berico, Ph.D., New York University Medical School; Audifas Salvador Matus Meza, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center; Yongji Zeng, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine; Gaurav Chauhan, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic; Youngbin Cho, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Yi Shi, Ph.D., John Hopkins School of Medicine; Jungmin Lee, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco; and Lizhong Ding, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles.

Further details of these projects can be found on the NCC grants page here.

All award decisions are made by the NCC’s Scientific Advisory Board, which is chaired by Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center. In addition to Dr. Bigner, the Scientific Advisory Board includes Jerome Ritz, M.D., Harvard Medical School; John M. Kirkwood, M.D., University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; Janet M.D. Plate, Ph.D.; Victoria L. Seewaldt, M.D., City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (Duarte, California); and David Knorr, M.D., Ph.D., Rockefeller University Hospital.

For 70 years, NCC has been dedicated to providing financial support to research with the promise of conquering cancer. The NCC runs six cancer research programs: Aggressive Cancer Project; Fighting Childhood Leukemia; the Breast Cancer Project; Children’s Cancer Project; Prostate Cancer Project and the NCC Project, which focuses on research showing particular promise for brain tumors, melanoma, DNA repair, anti-cancer therapies, gene mutations and targeted therapeutics.

The organization also provides education on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.