Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) Funds 16 New Early Career Scientists from World-Leading Cancer Research Institutes

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Investment Supports Scientists Dedicated to Developing Patient Therapies and Lymphoma Cures.

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During this time of great concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as funds for early career scientists continue to decrease, receiving a Lymphoma Research Foundation grant provides funding at a crucial stage in their career.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through education programs, outreach initiatives and patient services – today announced it has awarded 16 grants totaling $1.375 million to early career and disease-specific scientists based at many of the world’s leading cancer research institutes.

The 2020 LRF research portfolio includes grants in three categories: the LRF Clinical Investigator Career Development Award (CDA), the LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant, and the LRF Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP).

The LRF CDA is a three-year grant that supports innovative programs from clinical researchers within five years of the completion of their postdoctoral training. Supported by an institutional mentor, grantees must spend at least 35 percent of their time in independent clinical research.

The 2020 LRF CDA recipients are Natalie Grover, MD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Ryan Lynch, MD (University of Washington); and Paolo Strati, MD (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center). Drs. Lynch and Strati are alumni of the Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP). This is the sixth consecutive year alumni of the prestigious LCRMP received a CDA from the Foundation.

The LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant is a two-year grant that supports PhD fellows who have not completed more than five years of postdoctoral work, and MD fellows who have completed at least two years and no more than five years of their fellowship work. Grantees must spend at least 80 percent of their time in research; their award provides salary support, professional development, and research expenses.

The 2020 LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship grantees are Xu Cao, PhD (City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute); Frederico Gaiti, PhD (Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University); Yong Gu Lee, PhD (The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania); Adam Lin, MD, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine); Alexia Martinez de Paz, PhD (Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University); and Laurianne Scourzic, PhD (Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University). Dr. Gaiti is the 2020 Bruce D. Cheson, MD Postdoctoral Fellow; and Dr. Scourzic is the Oliver Press, MD, PhD Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow.

The LRF LCRMP awards two-year grants along with mentoring and education to hematology and oncology fellows and junior faculty dedicated to clinical research in the field of non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. Program participants, called LRF Scholars, attend and participate in a week-long intensive introductory workshop and follow-up programming intended to enhance their abilities to successfully design and administer clinical research studies and secure future grant funding. Participants also receive a professional development grant and are matched with experts in the field to foster future participation and collaboration within the Foundation through follow-up programming and activities. This year’s class of Scholars were selected by LRF’s Scientific Advisory Board for their promise in their study of lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

The 2020 Class of LRF Scholars includes Pamela Allen, MD (Emory University – Winship Cancer Institute); Jamie Flerlage, MD (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc.); Boyu Hu, MD (University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute); Christina Lee, MD (Weill Cornell Medical College); Raphael Steiner, MD (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center); Christopher Strouse, MD (The University of Iowa); and Abi Vijenthira, MD (University Health Network). Drs. Hu and Steiner are mentored by past 2014 and 2015 LCRMP Scholars Deborah Stephens, DO (University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute) and Jason Westin, MD (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center).

LRF’s grant selections are awarded with the guidance of the LRF Scientific Advisory Board, which is comprised of 45 world-renowned lymphoma experts dedicated to seeking out the most innovative and promising lymphoma research projects for investment.

“The Lymphoma Research Foundation has always recognized the critical importance of ensuring early career scientists with an interest in blood cancer are able to pursue and continue their investigation of hematological malignancies,” said Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Quality Informatics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Chair of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). “We are confident that the research programs that we are able to put forth today provide that opportunity to early career scientists and will yield meaningful results for lymphoma patients, caregivers and loved ones.”

“We are pleased to announce this important investment in early career lymphoma scientists,” said Meghan Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer at the Lymphoma Research Foundation. “During this time of great concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as funds for early career scientists continue to decrease, receiving a Lymphoma Research Foundation grant provides funding at a crucial stage in their career, ensuring that the brightest minds in oncology remain committed to the study of lymphoma for the benefit of patients everywhere.”

To learn more about LRF’s research grant program, visit lymphoma.org/research.

About the Lymphoma Research Foundation
The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and patient services. To date, LRF has awarded more than $62 million in lymphoma-specific research.

For additional information on LRF’s research, education and services, visit lymphoma.org.

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Kinya P. Harte
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