Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Awards Celebrate Innovation and Diversity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2017

CONTACT: 
Gina Comottor
gina.comottor@asco.org
(571) 483-1375

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF) is proud to recognize the recipients of its 2017 CCF Merit Awards and its Diversity Awards, which include the Medical Student Rotation Award for Underrepresented Populations and the Resident Travel Award for Underrepresented Populations. Geared toward supporting the work and interest of young researchers and medical professionals, these awards demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to encouraging new and diverse perspectives in the field of cancer care.

Annual Meeting Merit Awards

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO (CCF) Merit Awards support oncology trainees who are first authors on abstracts selected for presentation at an ASCO scientific meeting, including the ASCO Annual Meeting or a thematic meeting. CCF will recognize 123 recipients with Merit Awards at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, having already recognized 65 symposia-specific CCF Merit Award recipients so far in 2017. These young researchers are honored for their exceptional research and valuable contributions to their areas of study.

“If we are to continue to make great strides in cancer care, we need young oncology professionals committed to continually asking questions and developing thought-provoking and innovative research,” said David C. Smith, MD, Chair of the ASCO Scientific Program Committee. “This year’s recipients of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards will contribute to our growing knowledge of cancer, help to increase our capabilities, and improve our quality of care for people living with cancer.”

See the complete list of 2017 Annual Meeting Merit Award recipients. Five additional recipients will be presented with Special Merit Awards for receiving the highest-ranking scores in their respective abstract categories as determined by the ASCO Scientific Program Committee:

Michal Zapotocky, MD, PhD, The Hospital for Sick Children

  • Receives the Bradley Stuart Beller Endowed Merit Award, for the highest ranking abstract overall: Molecular alterations predict survival and response to chemotherapy of pediatric low-grade glioma (Abstract 10503).
  • Supported by Friends and Family of Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Beller.

Mette S. van Ramshorst, MD, Netherlands Cancer Institute

  • Receives the Allen S. Lichter, MD Endowed Merit Award, for a high-ranking abstract: A phase 3 trial of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without anthracyclines in the presence of dual HER2-blockade for HER2+ breast cancer: The TRAIN-2 study (BOOG 2012-03) (Abstract 507).

Po-Ju Lin, PhD, MPH, RD, University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Receives the Pain and Symptom Management Special Merit Award for the highestranked abstract in pain management research: The influence of yoga on mediational relationships between sleep and cancer-related fatigue: A URCC NCORP RCT in 321 cancer patients (Abstract 10007).

James Edward Bates, MD, University of Florida

  • Receives the Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award for the top-ranking abstract in pediatric oncology: Age-associated vulnerability to treatment-related late cardiotoxicity: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) (Abstract 10501).

Todd Gibson, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • Receives the James B. Nachman Endowed ASCO Junior Faculty Award in Pediatric Oncology for the abstract: Temporal trends in chronic disease among survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed across three decades:  A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) (Abstract LBA10500).
  • Supported by Friends and Family of Dr. James B. Nachman.

Diversity Awards

As described in the ASCO Strategic Plan for Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Oncology Workforce, the Diversity Awards are essential to developing an oncology workforce that is culturally competent and equipped to care for a diverse population of people with cancer. Both the Medical Student Rotation Award for Underrepresented Populations and the Resident Travel Award for Underrepresented Populations aid those from diverse backgrounds in exploring potential careers in the field of oncology.

The Medical Student Rotation Award and the Resident Travel Award represent the importance of diversity in ensuring inclusive care and new, innovative ideas,” said Thomas G. Roberts Jr., MD, Chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “A diverse oncology workforce is vital to improving quality cancer care, and the Foundation is proud to provide resources to underrepresented populations to increase diversity in the cancer care continuum.”

The Medical Student Rotation Award for Underrepresented Populations provides clinical rotations for U.S. medical students from underrepresented populations in medicine who are interested in a career in oncology, and pairs them with an oncology mentor.

The 2017 recipients are as follows:

  • Gerard Holder, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Katia Perez, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Maria Torres, Mayo Clinic

The Resident Travel Award for Underrepresented Populations provides funding for residents from underrepresented populations to attend the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, where recipients will get the chance to network with oncologists, attend educational sessions, and develop a deeper understanding of the oncology field.

The 2017 recipients are as follows:

  • Betty Abban, MD, Meharry Medical College
  • Abiodun Adefurin, MBBS, Meharry Medical College
  • Susanna Awoyode, MBBS, MS, Meharry Medical College
  • Oumoul Barry, MD, Mercy Medical Center
  • Eden Biltibo, MD, Meharry Medical College
  • Frederick Doamekpor, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Lionel Aurelien Kankeu Fonkoua, MD, Penn State College of Medicine
  • Victoria Lopez, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Nkem Nweze, MD, Einstein Medical Center
  • Maureen Offiah, MD, University of Mississippi
  • Emififen Udejiofor, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine

Supporters

The 2017 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards are sponsored by Amgen, AstraZeneca, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Janssen Oncology, Kidney Cancer Association, Lilly, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis Oncology, Mr. Jackson G. Simpson, and Takeda Oncology.

The 2017 Medical Student Rotation Awards are sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai Inc., and Lilly.

The 2017 Resident Travel Award Recipients are supported by Amgen, Conquer Cancer Foundation, and Janssen Oncology.

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About the Conquer Cancer Foundation 
The Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) was created by the world’s foremost cancer doctors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology to seek dramatic advances in the prevention, treatment, and cures of all types of cancer. Toward the vision of a world free from the fear of cancer, CCF works to conquer this disease by funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge with patients and physicians worldwide and by improving the quality of care and access to care, enhancing the lives of all who are touched by cancer. For more information, visit CONQUER.ORG