The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named four outstanding young scientists as recipients of the prestigious Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award, committing nearly $1 million to help address a critical shortage of funding for pediatric cancer research.
The Fellowship Award provides funding to basic scientists and clinicians who conduct research with the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of one or more pediatric cancers. Each recipient receives a four-year award totaling $231,000. Since 2012, this award has supported 31 innovative pediatric cancer researchers who were selected by a prestigious committee of leading pediatric oncologists in a highly competitive process.
"The program provides critically needed support for innovative young investigators working on high impact pediatric cancer research. We need their brilliant minds focused on curing childhood cancers," says Andrew L. Kung, MD, PhD, Chair of the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award Committee, and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Because cancer occurs less frequently in children and young adults than in the adult population, pediatric cancer research does not receive significant funding from either the National Cancer Institute (only four percent of its budget) or the biopharmaceutical industry. To help fill this gap, The Sohn Conference Foundation, dedicated to curing pediatric cancers, partnered with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the leading charity supporting brave and bold young cancer researchers, to establish the award. The Sohn Conference Foundation has committed nearly $3.2 million to the program to date. The award program continues to receive additional funding and recognition within the philanthropic community.
Our Damon Runyon-Sohn fellows are committed to making daring discoveries in pediatric cancer pathology. We place our bets on funding bold and innovative ideas from emerging scientists, as they hold the promise of advancing treatment and cures for children with cancer."
Evan Sohn, Sohn Conference Foundation