Conquer Cancer announces 2023 International Innovation Grant recipients

Vicki Kilpatrick
Collage of five 2023 International Innovation Grant recipients. From left to right: Dr. Aparna Sharma; Dr. Rubina Suwal; Dr. Pamela Bakkabulindi; Dr. Haydee Verduzco-Aguirre; Dr. Shakilu Jumanne

Alexandria, Va. – Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2023 International Innovation Grant (IIG) recipients. IIGs provide a one-year research grant of up to $20,000 to a nonprofit organization or government agency in support of novel and innovative projects that can have a significant impact on cancer control in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The award is intended to support proposals that have the potential to reduce the cancer burden in local communities, while also being potentially transferable to other LMIC settings.  

This year’s funded IIG projects focus on:  

  • leveraging new technology to improve the early detection of retinoblastoma among children in Tanzania; 

  • improving early detection of oral cancers in Nepal through a community screening program; 

  • strategies to prevent cervical cancer by increasing uptake of the second dose of HPV vaccine;

  • improving the care of older patients with cancer in Mexico through educational initiatives promoting best practices among oncologists and geriatricians in Mexico; and,

  • the use of anti-inflammatory agent to alleviate treatment-related cognitive impairment among patients with head and neck cancer in India.


The 2023 Recipients are:  

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (India) 

Project Title: “Role of celecoxib in reducing cognitive impairment in patients receiving definitive chemoradiation for head and neck carcinoma: A phase II randomized placebo-controlled trial” 

Principal Investigator: Aparna Sharma, MD (2022 IDEA) 

Binaytara Foundation Cancer Center (Nepal) 

Project Title: “Effectiveness of a community screening program for early detection of oral cancers in Nepal” 

Principal Investigator: Rubina Suwal, MDS 

Health Support Initiatives (Uganda) 

Project Title: “Identifying and designing strategies to increase uptake of second dose Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among adolescent girls in Uganda” 

Principal Investigator: Pamela Bakkabulindi, MBChB 

Instituto Nacional de Ciencas Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiran (Mexico) 

Project Title: “Development and implementation of a geriatric oncology educational intervention for cancer care providers in Mexico” 

Principal Investigator: Haydee Verduzco-Aguirre, MD (2020 GO YIA)

The University of Dodoma (Tanzania) 

Project Title: “Integrated mHealth Red reflex test training For Retinoblastoma Detection (Im-RED) at Reproductive and Child Health Clinics- A Stepped Wedge Cluster RCT” 

Principal Investigator: Shakilu Jumanne, MD


The 2023 International Innovation Grants are supported through our generous donors. This list reflects donors as of March 15, 2023.