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Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award


Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD

Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD

Cancer researcher Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms that drive the disease. In recognition of her accomplishments, she has been named a recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award, an honor presented by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Vice Dean for Science and Chief Scientific Officer at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, and a senior member of its Perlmutter Cancer Center, Dr. Bar-Sagi will receive $1 million per year for 7 years from the NCI to fund her research.

NCI’s Outstanding Investigator Awards support researchers with esteemed records of productivity, encouraging them to continue or to embark on research projects of unusual potential. Because these awards provide funding over an extended period of time, they allow scientists to take greater risks and be more adventurous in their investigations.

“We are extremely proud Dr. Bar-Sagi’s work has been acknowledged in this way,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone. “Her leadership in cancer research is defined by two principal factors: wide recognition of the importance of her contributions to science, and the influence it bears on the investigative work of others.”

About Dr. Bar-Sagi

Dr. Bar-Sagi leads an active research laboratory widely known for elucidating cellular pathways involved in controlling cell growth. Her work has led to discoveries regarding the involvement of RAS oncogenes in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, tumor immunity, cellular metabolism, and cell-to-cell signaling. A major focus of her efforts is on defining how the activation of these processes by RAS oncogenes triggers the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer and how this information can be exploited to design new therapeutic strategies.

Named Chief Scientific Officer at NYU Langone in 2011, Dr. Bar-Sagi serves as the principal strategist to advance the medical center’s research enterprise, which is supported by close to $330 million in total grant funding. Prior to joining NYU Langone in 2006 as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Bar-Sagi headed the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in this manner,” said Dr. Bar-Sagi. “This award also acknowledges the numerous contributions of generations of investigators and researchers-in-training whom I have had the pleasure to work with. I am immensely grateful to the NCI for its continued support of our efforts to find a cure for cancer.” ■



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