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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.

Open: Apply by September 25, 2019.

Application Deadlines

Application Open: 

July 1, 2019

Letter of Intent Deadline: 

Application Deadline: 

September 25, 2019

Award Term: 

July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021


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

Jalal Ahmed, MD, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Targeting the tumor microenvironment to advance CAR T cell therapy for lung cancer
Omar Alhalabi, MD
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
Rajat Bansal, MD
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
Allison Barz Leahy, MD
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Symptom monitoring using patient-reported outcomes in newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients
Gregory Botta, MD, PhD
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Massively Parallel single-cell RNAseq of Pancreatic Cancer T-cells to Determine Metabolic Influence of Immunosuppression
Leonid Cherkassky, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Combining cancer-targeted T cells with checkpoint blockade recruits endogenous anti-tumor immunity
Kelly Chien, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Prevention of Therapy-Related Myeloid Neoplasms Associated with Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential
Andrew Chow, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Assessment of Tim-4+ Pleural Macrophages as Negative Regulators of Anti-Tumor T Cell Immunity in Lung Cancer
Victor Chow, MD
University of Washington
Acalabrutinib in combination with anti-CD19 Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CART) in B-cell lymphoma
Lauren Colbert, MD
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
Pippa Cosper, MD, PhD
University of Wisconsin
Chromosomal instability as a potential mechanism and marker of radiation sensitivity in head and neck cancer
Matthew Dallos, MD
Columbia University Medical Center
Maximizing androgen deprivation immunogenicity through PD-1 and IL-8 blockade in castration-sensitive prostate cancer
Deborah Doroshow, MD, PhD
Yale University
Targeting DNA Damage Repair Mechanisms in IDH1/2 Mutated Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinomas and Other Solid Tumors
Adam Gadzinski, MD, MS
University of Washington
Telehealth to improve access to urological cancer care among rural patients
Sara Gandolfi, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Enhancing the response of multidrug-resistant myeloma cells to natural killer (NK) cells
Angela Green, MD, MSc
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
Jessica Hawley, MD
Columbia University Medical Center
Augmenting the ADT-induced immune infiltrate in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer with PD-1 blockade and docetaxel
Joseph Hiatt, MD, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Role of the transcriptional repressor REST in shaping the immunologic tumor microenvironment in small cell lung cancer
Won Jin Ho, MD, MS
Johns Hopkins University
Role of PTPN22 in Antitumor Immune Response
Antony Hsieh, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Function and therapeutic targeting of MYBBP1A in pancreatic cancer
Dennis Hsu, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterization and Exploitation of preferred tRNAs in Lung Adenocarcinoma
Li-Wen Huang, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Understanding the Relationship Between Frailty and Cognitive Decline After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Older Adults
William Hwang, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Radiotherapy-Mediated Reprogramming of the Immune Ecosystem in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma at Single-Cell Resolution
Maya Ilowite, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Experiences with Home Symptom Management Among Parents of Children with Cancer
Shekeab Jauhari, MD
Duke University Medical Center
A Phase I Study of Microtransplantation in Combination with Nivolumab for Relapsed or Refractory B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas
Daniel Johnson, MD
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
Michael Kinnaman, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Tracking the Origins and Drivers of Metastatic Expansion in Osteosarcoma
Isaac Klein, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Targeting The Transcriptional Regulatory Landscape of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer
David Konieczkowski, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Defining genomic determinants of response to chemoradiation in anal squamous cell carcinoma
Ritesh Kotecha, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterizing Tumor-Associated Macrophage Dynamics in Renal Cell Carcinoma
Bahar Laderian, MD
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.
Christina Lee, MD
Weill Cornell Medical College
Longitudinal genomics of tumor-immune cell interaction in targeting CDK4 in mantle cell lymphoma
Paul Lin, MD, PhD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Treatment of Multiple Myeloma with CAR-NK Cells and TIGIT blockade
Ying Liu, MD, MPH
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Synergy of checkpoint blockade and radiation as adjuvant treatment for locally advanced, high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) endometrial cancers
Yi-Tsung Lu, MD
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
Luis Malpica, MD
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
David Mayhew, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting the Oncogenic Function of YAP1 in Colorectal Cancer.
Christine McMahon, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Overcoming acquired resistance to selective FLT3 inhibition in FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia
Amir Mehrvarz Sarshekeh, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Characterizing and targeting immune exclusion in TGF-ß-activated CMS4 colorectal cancer
Aimee Merino, MD, PhD
University of Minnesota
Enhancing the ability of natural killer cells to kill renal cell carcinoma
Judith Michels, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Characterizing the p53 activation in modulating antitumor immunity
Benjamin Nacev, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Differentiation therapy for ‘oncohistone’-driven sarcomas
Kevin Nead, MD, MS
University of Pennsylvania
Clonal hematopoiesis among individuals with non-hematologic cancer: association with comorbid disease and treatment toxicity
Scot Niglio, MD, MS
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
Marc Oliva Bernal, MD
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Role Of the Microbiome as a biomArker in locoregionally-advanced oropharyngeal carcinoma (ROMA).
Arsen Osipov, MD
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
Alexander Parent, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Small Molecule-induced KRAS Degradation for the Treatment of KRAS-mutant Cancer
Ravi Parikh, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients with Poor Performance Status: Real-World Uptake and Effectiveness
Soo Park, MD
University of California San Diego
DNA Methylation Patterns in Response to Hypomethylating Agents in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Cheryl Peretz, MD
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
The role of tumor heterogeneity in relapsed and refractory pediatric FLT3-activated AML
Neil Pfister, MD, PhD
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Understanding and Exploiting EZH2 in Small Cell Lung Cancer
Vikram Premkumar, MD, MS
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
Alexander Raufi, MD
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
Arvind Ravi, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Mapping the Landscape of FGFR Inhibitor Resistance in Urothelial Carcinoma via Deep Evolutionary Profiling
Joshua Reuss, MD
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
Joanna Rhodes, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Incidence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Reactivation in Patients with Acute or Chronic Leukemia Treated with Non-Cytotoxic Therapy
Evan Rosenbaum, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Utilizing CSF1R Inhibition to Deplete Tumor-associated Myeloid Cells and Increase Responses to Checkpoint Blockade in Advanced Sarcomas
Maria Rubinstein, MD
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
Adam Schoenfeld, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Combination Dacomitinib and Osimertinib in Patients with Metastatic EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer.
Jennifer Sheng, MD
Johns Hopkins University
A personalized weight loss intervention in overweight or obese breast cancer survivors
Siddharth Sheth, DO, MPH
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Bryan Sisk, MD
Washington University in Saint Louis
Quality of Communication in Pediatric Oncology (QCOM): Advancing Understanding and Measurement of Communication Functions and Quality in Pediatric Oncology
Angela Steineck, MD
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
Vatche Tchekmedyian, Other
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
A Phase 1b Trial Evaluating Vemurafenib plus Copanlisib to Enhance RAI Avidity in Radioiodine Refractory Thyroid Cancers
Lucas Vitzthum, MD
University of California San Diego
Persistent Opioid Use, Abuse and Toxicity Among Cancer Survivors
Hao Xie, MD, PhD
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
Siddhartha Yadav, MBBS
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
Biological Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma in Germline ATM Mutation Carriers
Tao Zou, MD, PhD
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.