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ASCO Highlights: BCRF Supports the Future of Breast Cancer Research, Nurturing Young Scientists through CCF

By BCRF | June 21, 2016

BCRF recognized for its longtime support of young scientists through its partnership with Conquer Cancer Foundation

BCRF’s annual grants program has supported the best minds in clinical, translational and basic breast cancer research for more than 20 years. Our investigators are selected by the Scientific Advisory Board based on their achievements and potential to move the field forward. Through the hard work and innovation of each BCRF investigator, BCRF has played a role in every major advancement in breast cancer research over the last 20 years.

All of our investigators started as trainees in clinics or labs around the world. Their passion and drive were fostered by dedicated mentors, who provided the critical training, support and inspiration to guide their fellows and postdocs in achieving success in their careers, and ultimately to improving the lives of breast cancer patients. Many of our current BCRF investigators started their careers under the mentorship of established BCRF investigators.

BCRF recognizes the importance of securing a path forward for early career clinician-scientists. They represent the next generation of innovators who will bring an end to suffering from breast cancer.  In 2001, BCRF partnered with the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to support the career advancement of early career physician-scientists with a commitment to breast cancer research. CCF was created by ASCO to advance the science in prevention, treatment and cures for all types of cancer. Like BCRF, CCF provides critical funding for breakthrough cancer research that has improved quality of and access to cancer care around the world. CCF research grants support clinical and translational cancer research by gifted physician-scientists at every stage of their careers, from the best and brightest among young investigators to senior researchers. 

Over the last 15 years, BCRF has invested $10 million to support the career development of over 40 young scientists through CCF, many of whom have become leaders in the field including Drs. Vered Stearns and Lajos Pusztai, both of whom now serve on the BCRF Scientific Advisory Board.

At this year’s annual meeting of ASCO, BCRF was recognized for its 2016-2017 investment of $1 million in CCF. This commitment underscores our values in finding and nurturing young investigators who bring creative new ideas to bear. BCRF is proud to support the following young scientists.

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) is a one-year award for promising young physicians to help transition to faculty appointments and encourage quality research in clinical oncology. This year’s recipients of BCRF-CCF YIA are:

  • Sangeetha Reddy, MD, MSC, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Awarded in memory of Evelyn H. Lauder.
  • Xiuning Le, MD, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Awarded in honor of Susan Hirschhorn and in memory of her mother.


The Career Development Award is a 3-year award for new faculty members in their first to third year to help them establish independent clinical cancer research programs. This year’s recipients of BCRF-CCF CDA are:

  • Neil Iyengar, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Aki Morikawa, MD, PhD, University of Michigan

The Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) is a 4-year award to a physician-scientist within ten years of his/her faculty appointment to perform original research. This year’s ACRA awardee is:

  • Carey Anders, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BCRF congratulates these scientists on achieving the distinction of a BCRF-CCF awardee. They join a distinguished list of current BCRF-CCF awardees including Dr. Vandana Abramson (ACRA 2014), Dr. Priyanka Sharma (ACRA 2015), and Dr. Katherine Reeder Hayes (CDA 2015) and four 2015 YIA recipients Valerie Jansen, Kara Maxwell, David Page and Prabhjot Mundi.

This year’s new awardees will be formally announced during the BCRF October Luncheon and Symposium, held in New York on October 27.

Pictured above, from left to right: Dr. Maneesh Kumar (BCRF); Dr. Neil Iyengar (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Dr. Marc Hurlbert (BCRF Chief Missions Officer); Dr. Carey Anders (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Dr. Sangeetha Reddy (UT MD Anderson Cancer Center); Dr. Xiuning Le (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center); Dr. Larry Norton (BCRF Scientific Director); Dr. Margaret Flowers (BCRF); Dr. Clifford Hudis (ASCO CEO and former Chair BCRF Scientific Advisory Board); Dr. Aki Morikawa (University of Michigan)