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The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. The purpose of this grant is to fund physicians during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment.

The Young Investigator Award is a one-year grant totaling $50,000 to pay for personnel and/or research expenses, and travel to attend the Conquer Cancer Grants and Awards Ceremony at the ASCO Annual Meeting. The number of YIA grants in each funding cycle is not predetermined by Conquer Cancer. Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds.

Funding Available

The number of YIAs in each funding cycle is not predetermined by Conquer Cancer.  Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds.  Conquer Cancer highly encourages applications in all areas of oncology.

The following endowed YIAs from generous supporters allow Conquer Cancer to guarantee the award of these grants each year in perpetuity. 


  • Endowed Young Investigator Award in memory of Evelyn H. Lauder


  • Dr. Jose Leis Endowed Young Investigator Award


  • Endowed Young Investigator Award in Geriatric Oncology in honor of Dr. Arti Hurria


  • Novartis Oncology Endowed Young Investigator Award in Health Disparities


  • Boehringer Ingelheim Endowed Young Investigator Award (or Gastrointestinal Cancer)


  • Frist Family Endowed Young Investigator Award in honor of Howard A. Burris, III, MD


  • Anna Braglia Endowed Young Investigator Award in Cancer Supportive Care, supported by HELSINN


  • Åke Bertil Eriksson Endowed Young Investigator Award
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award*
  • Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award*
  • Endowed Young Investigator Award in honor of Grant R. and Victoria A. Merryman
  • Endowed Young Investigator Award in memory of John R. Durant, MD
  • Endowed Young Investigator Award in memory of Sally Gordon (2)
  • Fred J. Ansfield, MD, Endowed Young Investigator Award
  • Harry F. Bisel, MD, Endowed Young Investigator Award
  • Jane C. Wright, MD, Endowed Young Investigator Award
  • Victoria H. Montgomery Endowed Young Investigator Award

*Awarded to a female recipient

In addition, Conquer Cancer has dedicated funding in several areas for 2020 including but not limited to: brain cancer, kidney cancer, pediatric cancer, sarcoma (including projects with a focus in immunotherapy), and practice management. Dedicated funding is also available for female researchers and researchers from Florida and Northern California. Conquer Cancer highly encourages applications in other areas of oncology.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Young Investigator Award:

  • Be a physician (MD, DO, or international equivalent) working in any country and currently in the last two years of his/her final subspecialty training at an academic medical institution and within 10 years of obtaining his/her medical degree at the time of grant submission. Examples of subspecialty training include, but are not limited to, a hematology-oncology fellowship, a surgical oncology fellowship, or a radiation oncology residency.  An MD, PhD is eligible if both degrees are completed prior to the start of the grant period.
  • Be planning an investigative career in clinical oncology.
  • Have a valid, active medical license in the country where the research will be conducted at the time of application.
  • An institutional commitment for a faculty appointment at the time of grant submission is not required, but the applicant should be working in an oncology laboratory or clinical research setting.
  • Have a mentor in the proposed research field from the sponsoring institution.  The mentor must assume responsibility and provide guidance for the research. If the mentor is not an ASCO member, a supporting letter from an ASCO member from the sponsoring institution must be included.
  • Be an ASCO member or have submitted a membership application with the grant application. To apply for new membership, or to renew an existing membership, go to
  • Be able to commit at least 60% of full- time effort in research (applies to total research, not just the proposed project) during the award period.
  • Eligible physicians are allowed to hold only one grant from the Conquer Cancer Foundation at a time.

Application Instructions

All applications must be submitted in accordance to the requirements and instructions of the Young Investigator Award Request for Proposals (RFP). All application materials must be in English and must be submitted through the Grants Portal. Paper applications or applications sent by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.



The Young Investigator Award was first awarded in 1984. As of 2019, we have funded nearly 1,200 clinical investigators across the globe totaling more than $50 million.

2019 Young Investigator Award Recipients

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Targeting the tumor microenvironment to advance CAR T cell therapy for lung cancer
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Investigation of combination therapy with pemetrexed, A2BR inhibitor, and anti-PD-L1 in MTAP deficient bladder cancer
Columbia University Medical Center
Phase II, single arm, open label study to assess the efficacy of GLP-2 agonist ZP1846 in the prevention of melphalan induced diarrhea among bone marrow transplant patients
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Symptom monitoring using patient-reported outcomes in newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Massively Parallel single-cell RNAseq of Pancreatic Cancer T-cells to Determine Metabolic Influence of Immunosuppression
Johns Hopkins University
Using NK cells to prevent the outgrowth of breast cancer macrometastases
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Combining cancer-targeted T cells with checkpoint blockade recruits endogenous anti-tumor immunity
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Prevention of Therapy-Related Myeloid Neoplasms Associated with Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Assessment of Tim-4+ Pleural Macrophages as Negative Regulators of Anti-Tumor T Cell Immunity in Lung Cancer
University of Washington
Acalabrutinib in combination with anti-CD19 Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CART) in B-cell lymphoma
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Use of Radiomic Characteristics associated with Decreased T-Cell Response to predict In-Field Failure after Definitive Chemoradiation for Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
University of Wisconsin
Chromosomal instability as a potential mechanism and marker of radiation sensitivity in head and neck cancer
Columbia University Medical Center
Maximizing androgen deprivation immunogenicity through PD-1 and IL-8 blockade in castration-sensitive prostate cancer
Yale University
Targeting DNA Damage Repair Mechanisms in IDH1/2 Mutated Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinomas and Other Solid Tumors
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Mobile Health intervention to reduce treatment care-continuum delays among breast cancer patients in Rwanda.
University of Washington
Telehealth to improve access to urological cancer care among rural patients
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Enhancing the response of multidrug-resistant myeloma cells to natural killer (NK) cells
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Utility of a Population-Based Data Source to Examine National Cancer Clinical Trial Participation
Katie Greenwood, MD
Baylor College of Medicine
University of Padova
PRofiling the IMmune microEnviroment of breasT cancer braIn MEtastases: the multicentric PRIME TIME study
Columbia University Medical Center
Augmenting the ADT-induced immune infiltrate in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer with PD-1 blockade and docetaxel
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Role of the transcriptional repressor REST in shaping the immunologic tumor microenvironment in small cell lung cancer
Johns Hopkins University
Role of PTPN22 in Antitumor Immune Response
University of Pennsylvania
Function and therapeutic targeting of MYBBP1A in pancreatic cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterization and Exploitation of preferred tRNAs in Lung Adenocarcinoma
University of California, San Francisco
Understanding the Relationship Between Frailty and Cognitive Decline After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Older Adults
Massachusetts General Hospital
Radiotherapy-Mediated Reprogramming of the Immune Ecosystem in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma at Single-Cell Resolution
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Experiences with Home Symptom Management Among Parents of Children with Cancer
Duke University Medical Center
A Phase I Study of Microtransplantation in Combination with Nivolumab for Relapsed or Refractory B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Uncoupling Tumor Immunity from Autoimmunity: The role of Interleukin-6 and Th17 cells in checkpoint inhibitor mediated enterocolitis
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Breast MRI Radiomics: Developing a Non-Invasive Biomarker for Immune Response in Breast Cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Tracking the Origins and Drivers of Metastatic Expansion in Osteosarcoma
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Targeting The Transcriptional Regulatory Landscape of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Defining genomic determinants of response to chemoradiation in anal squamous cell carcinoma
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterizing Tumor-Associated Macrophage Dynamics in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Columbia University Medical Center
Toward a better understanding of a rare cancer: studies to explore the etiology and biology of SDHx-associated pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas.
Weill Cornell Medical College
Longitudinal genomics of tumor-immune cell interaction in targeting CDK4 in mantle cell lymphoma
National Institutes of Health
*Overcoming Mutational Tumor Heterogeneity to Improve the Efficacy of Adoptive Cell Therapy for Patients with Metastatic Epithelial Cancers
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Treatment of Multiple Myeloma with CAR-NK Cells and TIGIT blockade
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Cerebrospinal fluid derived circulating tumor DNA as an actionable biomarker in medulloblastoma
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Synergy of checkpoint blockade and radiation as adjuvant treatment for locally advanced, high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) endometrial cancers
University of Southern California
Developing a cell-free DNA based methylation marker to predict the benefit of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Antigenic and Immunogenic Evaluation of Afro-Caribbean Adult T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma for the Optimization of Interferon-Based Therapy
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting the Oncogenic Function of YAP1 in Colorectal Cancer.
University of Pennsylvania
Overcoming acquired resistance to selective FLT3 inhibition in FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Characterizing and targeting immune exclusion in TGF-ß-activated CMS4 colorectal cancer
University of Minnesota
Enhancing the ability of natural killer cells to kill renal cell carcinoma
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterizing the p53 activation in modulating antitumor immunity
National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI)
*A Phase I study evaluating the safety and tolerability of SLAMF7-targeting CAR T cells incorporating a suicide gene to treat relapsed multiple myeloma
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Differentiation therapy for ‘oncohistone’-driven sarcomas
University of Pennsylvania
Clonal hematopoiesis among individuals with non-hematologic cancer: association with comorbid disease and treatment toxicity
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Evaluating the Immunologic Response of PGV001 a Multi-Peptide Personalized Neoantigen Vaccine with the Addition of Atezolizumab in Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Cancer
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Role Of the Microbiome as a biomArker in locoregionally-advanced oropharyngeal carcinoma (ROMA).
Johns Hopkins University
Dissecting the Tumor Microenvironment of Pancreatic Cancer: Mechanisms of Potentiation of Anti-PD1 Therapy by Targeting Focal Adhesion Kinase Through a Neoadjuvant Approach
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Small Molecule-induced KRAS Degradation for the Treatment of KRAS-mutant Cancer
University of Pennsylvania
Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients with Poor Performance Status: Real-World Uptake and Effectiveness
University of California San Diego
DNA Methylation Patterns in Response to Hypomethylating Agents in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
The role of tumor heterogeneity in relapsed and refractory pediatric FLT3-activated AML
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Understanding and Exploiting EZH2 in Small Cell Lung Cancer
Columbia University Medical Center
Identifying the role of Programmed Death-1 Homolog (PD-1H) on osteoclast signaling and activation within the bony microenvironment in multiple myeloma bone disease
Camille Puronen, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
University of Chicago
Development of an integrated prognostic score using common risk variants and RNA-expression data from primary breast cancers for improved prognostication of outcomes across populations
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
A phase II study of chemotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade with pembrolizumab in the perioperative and maintenance treatment of locoregional gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Mapping the Landscape of FGFR Inhibitor Resistance in Urothelial Carcinoma via Deep Evolutionary Profiling
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Developing a prognostic model for 30-day risk of death in patients with advanced breast cancer
Johns Hopkins University
Neoadjuvant nivolumab & ipilimumab in patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): assessment of feasibility and characterization of dynamic immune response
University of Pennsylvania
Incidence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Reactivation in Patients with Acute or Chronic Leukemia Treated with Non-Cytotoxic Therapy
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Utilizing CSF1R Inhibition to Deplete Tumor-associated Myeloid Cells and Increase Responses to Checkpoint Blockade in Advanced Sarcomas
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Pilot Phase Ib Study of the PI3K Inhibitor Copanlisib in Combination with Ketogenic Diet in Patients with Recurrent PI3K Pathway -mutated Endometrial Cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Combination Dacomitinib and Osimertinib in Patients with Metastatic EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer.
Johns Hopkins University
A personalized weight loss intervention in overweight or obese breast cancer survivors
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Washington University in Saint Louis
Quality of Communication in Pediatric Oncology (QCOM): Advancing Understanding and Measurement of Communication Functions and Quality in Pediatric Oncology
Seattle Children's Hospital dba Seattle Children's Research Institute
Using patient-reported outcomes to improve the experience of pediatric patients with advanced cancer receiving investigational therapies
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
A Phase 1b Trial Evaluating Vemurafenib plus Copanlisib to Enhance RAI Avidity in Radioiodine Refractory Thyroid Cancers
University of California San Diego
Persistent Opioid Use, Abuse and Toxicity Among Cancer Survivors
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Evaluation of novel methylated DNA markers in tissue and in plasma for detection of colorectal cancer recurrence and metastases: A phase I study
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Biological Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma in Germline ATM Mutation Carriers
National Institutes of Health
*Investigating microbiota-immune interaction in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Elucidating the mechanisms of XRN1 genetic dependency in a subset of lung cancer cells


The Young Investigator Awards are supported by:

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Trisha Elcan, Howard A. Burris, III, MD, and Sarah Cannon Research Institute
The Hayden Family Foundation
Friends and Family of Dr. Arti Hurria
Incyte Corporation
Alan and Judith Kaur
Victoria H. Montgomery
Greg Parekh/New Rhein Healthcare, LLC
Colleagues, Friends, and Family of Drs. Debra and Hanoch Patt and Dr. Gladys Rodriguez
Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, FASCO, and Susan M. DaSilva, PhD
Aaron and Barbro Sasson
Shanken Family Foundation
Stephen A. Sherwin, MD
Tomasello Family
The Wilky Family
Generous Supporters of the Women Who Conquer Cancer

This list reflects commitments as of August 8, 2019.

This grant receives support that may result in a report to the CMS Open Payments website under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The supporting companies are required to report the amount of the grant, the names of physicians who are awarded this grant, and the names of their institutions. This information may appear on the Open Payments website. Find out more information about the Sunshine Act and CMS Open Payments program.