Through the program, which supports promising early-career scientists with high-risk, high-reward projects aimed at addressing unmet needs in cancer risk prediction, prevention, detection, and treatment, eight recipients will receive funding to pursue ideas that fall outside typical funding paradigms. The inaugural winners are Hannah K. Carter (University of California San Diego School of Medicine,"Enabling MHC Genotype-Informed Risk Prediction, Cancer Prevention and Precision Immunotherapy"); Yvonne Y. Chen (University of California, Los Angeles, "Engineering TGF-β-resistant, Tri-Specific T-cell Therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme"); Eric S. Fischer (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, "Rational Approach to Targeting Transcription Factors with Small Molecule Degraders"); Saar I. Gill (Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, "Optimizing Adoptive Cell Therapy for All Patients: Towards In Vivo CAR T-Cell Manufacturing"); Cigall Kadoch (Dana-Farber, "Defining Transcription Factor-Chromatin-Remodeling Complex Interactions in Cancer: New Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities"); Andrew A. Lane (Dana-Farber, "Origins and Therapeutic Vulnerabilities of Sex Bias in Cancer"); Peter A. Sims (Columbia University Irving Medical Center, "New Opportunities for Modeling Drug Response in Solid Tumors Afforded by Single-Cell Genomics"); and Matthias Stephan (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, "Preventing Cancer Vaccine Failure via Nanoparticle-Mediated T-Cell Receptor Programming").
The foundation also announced that Hannah K. Carter has been named the inaugural recipient of its Jaime Wyatt Miller Fellowship, which is partially supported by the friends and family of Jaime Wyatt Miller, a 42-year-old wife and mother who succumbed to breast cancer in May 2018.
"We are excited to fund the groundbreaking work these emerging leaders are pursuing," said Mark Foundation CEO Michele Cleary, PhD. "These exceptionally talented scientists demonstrate visionary thinking that aligns perfectly with the Mark Foundation’s goal of overcoming the most difficult challenges in cancer research."