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The Prostate Cancer Foundation Announces 2021 Young Investigator Awards Totaling Nearly $6.5 Million for Prostate Cancer Research

LOS ANGELES, Calif., December 14, 2021 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced the Class of 2021 Young Investigator Award recipients totaling nearly $6.5 million in funding for innovative prostate cancer research.

PCF Young Investigator Awards are intended to identify a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of prostate cancer research vibrant with new ideas and offer career and project support for early career physicians and scientists who are committed to advancing the prostate cancer field. Thirty-three PCF Young Investigator Awards totaling close to $6.5 million were granted to the promising next generation of cancer researchers. 

PCF Young Investigator Awards – Class of 2021

For full project descriptions visit https://www.pcf.org/c/young-investigator-award-class-of-2021


2021 National Institutes of Health-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Mohammad Atiq, MD, National Institutes of Health
Mentor: Ravi Madan, MD
Project Title: Seeking Immunotherapeutic Synergy with Tumor-targeting Immunocytokines in Metastatic Prostate Cancer


2021 Michael and Patricia Berns-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: George Butler, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Mentor: Kenneth Pienta, MD
Project Title: Investigating the Polyaneuploid Transition as a Mechanism of Therapy Resistance in Distant Site Metastases


2021 Igor Tulchinsky-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Sujun Chen, PhD, UHN/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Mentors: Housheng He, PhD, Paul Boutros, PhD, MBA
Project Title: Investigating the Tumor Cells of Origin and Disease Progression Trajectories in Prostate Cancer


2021 Michael and Lori Milken-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Burcu Darst, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Mentors: Christopher Haiman, ScD, David Conti, PhD
Project Title: Improving the Utility of Polygenic Risk Scores and Rare Genetic Variants for the Prediction of Prostate Cancer in Men from Diverse Populations


2021 Art Kern in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Ivan de Kouchkovsky, MD, University of California, San Francisco
Mentor: Rahul Aggarwal, MD
Project Title: Therapeutic Implications of Low PSMA PET Uptake in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer


2021 Marc and Lisa Cummins-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Asmaa Elkenawi, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
Mentors: Kosj Yamoah, MD, PhD, Robert Gatenby, MD, Amina Zoubeidi, PhD
Project Title:Targeting Macrophage Lipid Metabolism to Combat Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer


2021 John Black Charitable Foundation-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Harveer Dev, MD, PhD, University of Cambridge
Mentors: Stephen Jackson, PhD, Charlie Massie, PhD, Ian Mills, PhD
Project Title: Identifying and Overcoming Resistance to AR/DDR-Targeting Therapies Using Orthogonal Single-Cell CRISPR and Peptide Screening Platforms


2021 Pfizer-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: David Einstein, MD, Harvard: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Mentors: Steven Balk, MD, PhD, Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD
Project Title: Identifying and Targeting Immunogenic Prostate Cancer


2021 Larry Ruvo-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Andrei Gafita, MD, University of California, Los Angeles
Mentors: Johannes Czernin, MD, Jeremie Calais, MD, Matthew Rettig, MD
Project Title: Development of Biomarker-Based Approaches to Optimize PSMA-Targeted Therapeutics for Advanced Prostate Cancer


2021 John Black Charitable Foundation-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Emily Grist, MBBS, University College London Cancer Institute
Mentor: Gerhardt Attard, MBBS, PhD
Project Title: Genomic Tracking of Advanced Prostate Cancer Leveraging Bespoke Assays


2021 Rob Heyvaert and Bart Heynen-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Andrew Hahn, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mentors: Christopher Logothetis, MD, Daniel Frigo, PhD, Jennifer McQuade, MD
Project Title: The Impact of Body Composition on Resistance to Androgen Signaling Inhibition (ASI) in Men with Localized High-Risk Prostate Cancer


2021 ASTRO-PCF Early Career Development Award to End Prostate Cancer

Principal Investigator: Julian Hong, MD, University of California, San Francisco
Mentor: Felix Feng, MD
Project Title: Artificial Intelligence Approaches for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer


2021 Greg Brown in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Price Jackson, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Mentors: Michael Hoffman, MBBS, Kai Qin, PhD
Project Title: Automated Interpretation of PSMA and FDG PET Images to Improve Prognosis and Management in Advanced Prostate Cancer


2021 Varian-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Sophia Kamran, MD, Harvard: Massachusetts General Hospital
Mentors: Jason Efstathiou, MD, DPhil, Eliezer Van Allen, MD
Project Title: Dissecting Tumor-Immune Dynamics and Radiotherapy Response in Oligometastatic Prostate Cancer


2021 National Institutes of Health-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Anson Ku, PhD, National Institutes of Health
Mentors: Adam Sowalsky, PhD, Eytan Ruppin, MD, PhD
Project Title: Leveraging HER2 Inhibition to Sensitize High-Risk Localized “Low AR” Prostate Tumors to Neoadjuvant Intense Androgen Deprivation Therapy


2021 Michael and Lori Milken-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Rajendra Kumar, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Mentors: Sushant Kachhap, PhD, Sam Denmeade, MD
Project Title: Molecular Signatures of SupraT-Induced Ferroptosis and Its Role in Prostate Cancer Growth Inhibition


2021 Amgen-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Edmond Kwan, MBBS, Vancouver Prostate Centre
Mentors: Alexander Wyatt, DPhil, Gerhardt Attard, MBBS, PhD
Project Title: Integrated Tissue and Circulating Tumour DNA Profiling to Risk Stratify De Novo Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer Prior to Systemic Therapy


2021 Emilio Bassini in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Andrew Laccetti, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mentors: Michael Morris, MD, Jessica Scott, PhD
Project Title: Digital Activity Monitoring for Personalized Prediction of ADT-Associated Fatigue


2021 Art Kern in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Haolong Li, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Mentors: Felix Feng, MD, Luke Gilbert, PhD, Kevan Shokat, PhD
Project Title: Investigating PTGES3 as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Advanced Prostate Cancer


2021 Patrice and Precious Motsepe-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Catherine Marshall, MD, Johns Hopkins University
Mentors: Emmanuel Antonarakis, MD, Jun Luo, PhD, Lukasz Gondex, MD, PhD
Project Title: PARP Inhibitors and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer


2021 Robert and Cindy Citrone-PCF Valor Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Amy Moran, PhD,  Oregon Health & Sciences University
Mentor: Lisa Coussens, PhD
Project Title: Investigating Mechanisms of Androgen Mediated T Cell Suppression in High-Risk Prostate Cancer


2021 J. Eustace Wolfington-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: John Murad, PhD, City of Hope
Mentor: Saul Priceman, PhD
Project Title: Impact of the Microbiome on PSCA-Directed Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy for Prostate Cancer


2021 Clay Hamlin-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Alexandros Papachristodoulou, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center
Mentors: Cory Abate-Shen, PhD, Mark Stein, MD, James McKiernan, MD
Project Title: Interrogating Mitochondrial Dysfunction for Precision Medicine in High-Risk Prostate Cancer


2021 J. Eustace Wolfington-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Abhijit Parolia, PhD, University of Michigan
Mentors: Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, Joshi Alumkal, MD, Marcin Cieslik, PhD
Project Title:  Targeting SWI/SNF ATPases in FOXA1-Altered Prostate Cancers


2021 PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Anna Plym, PhD, Harvard: Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Mentors: Lorelei Mucci, ScD, Adam Kibel, MD
Project Title: Investigating Whether a Healthy Lifestyle or Pharmacological Intervention Can Offset the Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer in Men at High Genetic Risk


2021 Eric Vacca-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Fabio Quaglia, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University
Mentors: Lucia Languino, PhD, William Kelly, DO
Project Title: The αvβ3 Integrin as Therapeutic Target in Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer


2021 National Cancer Institute-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Sonam Raj, PhD, National Cancer Institute
Mentors: Kathleen Kelly, PhD, David Takeda, MD, PhD
Project Title: Identification and Mechanistic Analysis of RB1/TP53 Loss Dependent Transcription and Epigenetic Factors Encoding Lineage Plasticity and Growth


2021 John Paulson-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Praful Ravi, MD, Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Mentors: Mary-Ellen Taplin, MD, Heather Jacene, MD, Eliezer Van Allen, MD
Project Title: Neoadjuvant Darolutamide and Abemaciclib in High-Risk Prostate Cancer


2021 Neal Rodin in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Keyan Salari, MD, PhD, Harvard: Massachusetts General Hospital
Mentors: Eliezer Van Allen, MD, Adam Feldman, MD, MPH
Project Title: Dissecting the Role of Homologous Recombination Deficiency and Immune Response in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer


2021 Michael and Patricia Berns-PCF Young Investigators Award

Principal Investigator: Martin Sjöström, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Mentors: Felix Feng, MD, David Quigley, PhD, Alexander Wyatt, DPhil
Project Title: Using 5-Hydroxymethycytosine (5hmC) Sequencing to Investigate Treatment Resistance and Develop Liquid Biomarkers for Advanced Prostate Cancer


2021 Peter and Laurie Grauer in Honor of Plum and Jonathan W. Simons, MD-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Shervin Tabrizi, MD, Harvard: Massachusetts General Hospital
Mentors: John Christopher Love, PhD, Viktor Adalsteinsson, PhD, Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD
Project Title: Development of High-Performance Liquid Biopsy in Prostate Cancer Through Enhanced Cell-Free DNA Recovery


2021 PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Anna Trigos, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Mentors: Shahneen Sandhu, MBBS, Michael Hofman, MBBS, David Quigley, PhD
Project Title: Understanding PSMA Expression Through a Deep Dive into the Genetic, Gene Expression and Microenvironment Profiles of mCRPC


2021 Republic National Distributing Company-PCF Young Investigator Award

Principal Investigator: Yuehui Zhao, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mentors: Nicholas Navin, PhD, Amado Zurita, MD
Project Title: Delineating Clonal Evolution of Resistance to Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Metastasis in Newly Diagnosed Early Metastatic Prostate Cancer


About the Prostate Cancer Foundation The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993 by Mike Milken, PCF has been responsible for raising close to $1 billion in support of cutting-edge research by more than 2,200 research projects at 245 leading cancer centers in 28 countries around the world. Since PCF’s inception, and through its efforts, patients around the world are living longer, suffering fewer complications, and enjoying better quality of life. PCF is committed to creating a global public square for prostate cancer, in service to our mission of ending death and suffering from the disease.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Staci L. Vernick
Prostate Cancer Foundation
svernick@pcf.org
press@pcf.org
610-812-6092