Recipients for the 2022 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards Program announced

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) and the NCCN Foundation® today announced seven recipients for the 2022 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards (YIA) Program. The honorees will each receive up to $150,000 in funding, over two years, to advance research on important issues in oncology. These early-career investigators from NCCN Member Institutions represent tomorrow's leaders for advancing cancer care. The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) managed the selection process and will provide guidance and oversight for the projects over the grant duration.

As a former Young Investigator Award recipient myself, I know how important funding in the early years of one's career can be. I have seen past YIA investigators go on to make meaningful and lasting contributions to the oncology community. These awardees are chosen for being some of the best up-and-coming cancer researchers. NCCN celebrates all of the impressive investigators selected."

Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN

The 2022 NCCN Foundation YIA recipients are:

  • Abhishek Chakraborty, PhD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
    • Functional In Vivo Genetic Screens Identify Oncogenic Vulnerabilities in Kidney Cancer
  • Christos Fountzilas, MD, FACP, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Novel Combination Therapy for Colorectal and Esophagogastric Cancers
  • Zachary Frosch, MD, MSHP, Fox Chase Cancer Center
    • Developing Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Equitable Access to Cellular Therapies
  • Chad Tang, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Spatial Evolution of Immune Cell Dysfunction during Development of Oligometastatic RCC and its Perturbation by Radiation Therapy
  • Ana I. Tergas, MD, MPH, City of Hope
    • Genetic Ancestry, Cervical Cancer Outcomes, and Prevalence of Homologous DNA Repair Deficiency in a Diverse Multi-ethnic Population
  • Richard Tobin, PhD, University of Colorado Cancer Center
    • Enhancing MAIT Cell Antitumor Activity by Epigenetic Priming in Mucosal Melanoma
  • Shuang (George) Zhao, MD, MS, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
    • Liquid Biomarkers of Response to Radium-223 in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

"As part of NCCN's commitment to elevating cancer equity, our Young Investigator Awards include a designated category for disparities research that we are proud to support," said Patrick Delaney, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. "NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Award recipients make important contributions to treatment innovation and advancement for people with cancer. We are eager to see where the research from this year's recipients takes the field."

The research from these seven recipients will be presented during the NCCN 2024 Annual Conference. Recipients of the 2020 NCCN Young Investigator Awards recently presented their research virtually during the NCCN 2022 Annual Conference; those abstracts are now available at, the online home of JNCCN-;Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The NCCN Foundation has awarded more than $9.7 million since 2011 through the YIA program, to a total of 66 researchers.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improves the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database. For more information on these and other collaborative cancer research projects, see

To learn more about the 2022 NCCN Foundation Young Investigator Awards or to make a donation to the NCCN Foundation, visit This year's awards were made possible through support from AbbVie, ADVI, Amgen, Inc., AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., Pharmacyclics, An AbbVie Company, and Sanofi Genzyme.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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