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Drs. Kellie Smith, Jeffrey Thompson, and Edwin Yau receive prestigious LUNGevity 2018 Career Development Awards

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LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, announced today the recipients of its 2018 Career Development Awards (CDA) for lung cancer research.  These coveted awards fund critical lung cancer research projects and offer the recipients world-class mentorship by LUNGevity’s prestigious Scientific Advisory Board.

“We are excited to support these exceptionally talented new investigators. Interestingly, all three of these projects involve liquid biopsy-based approaches to detecting and optimizing treatment of lung cancer. These new projects may define new avenues for applying liquid biopsies in the clinical setting,” notes Charles Rudin, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief, Thoracic Oncology Service, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and chair of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board. “We believe that this outstanding group of awardees will help make progress in improving outcomes for lung cancer patients.” 

LUNGevity is proud to support the following 2018 Career Development Award researchers:

Kellie Smith, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Immunometabolic T cell profiling as a prognostic liquid biopsy in non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Smith’s research group will work to develop a liquid biopsy that predicts advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer patient responses to combination immunotherapy regimens.

Jeffrey Thompson, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Development of markers to predict response to immunotherapy in NSCLC. Dr. Thompson’s laboratory is working to develop blood-based tests to identify individuals most likely to respond to immunotherapy with minimum side effects, helping to ensure customized immunotherapies for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Edwin Yau, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Lung cancer detection by CRISPR-based detection of circulating tumor DNA. Dr. Yau’s team is developing a quick and cost-effective blood test for early detection of lung cancer that will complement CT screening.

“By funding young investigators, LUNGevity keeps outstanding scientists, still early in their careers, in the lung cancer space. We work closely with these researchers with the hope of seeing them become the next generation of scientific superstars,” says Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity. “The CDA program encourages their continued development in the field of lung cancer research to grow a strong pipeline of dedicated lung cancer researchers.”

Under the stewardship of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board, a group of 21 prominent scientists and researchers, LUNGevity ensures that grants are awarded to those researchers whose proposals demonstrate the greatest potential for finding lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable phase, as well as for extending and improving lives of lung cancer survivors. 

LUNGevity is the only lung cancer organization with a programmatic focus on early detection and a robust Career Development Award Program. Our researchers are working on finding a better way to detect lung cancer, and to better diagnose, treat, and prevent its recurrence. The foundation’s overall research program, including CDA awards, is a crucial factor in moving the science forward to improve outcomes for people living with lung cancer.

LUNGevity’s Scientific Research Program is supported by individual donors, the American Lung Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation, Upstage Lung Cancer, and the Schmidt Legacy Foundation.

Read the full press release.

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