ASTRO Names Recipients of Junior Faculty, Resident/Fellow Awards at Annual Meeting


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THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR RADIATION ONCOLOGY (ASTRO) has awarded $275,000 in research awards to four early-career scientists as part of the Society’s efforts to retain and foster the intellectual research talent currently entering the field of radiation oncology. For 2017, the Research Grants committee selected one Junior Faculty Award and three Resident Seed Grant recipients. Winners were recognized at ASTRO’s 59th Annual Meeting held this past month in San Diego. 

David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO

David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO

“These grants recognize the innovative work being done by those in our field, and they also identify and encourage early-career researchers,” said ASTRO Chair David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO

The ASTRO Junior Faculty Career Research Training Award (JFA) provides $100,000 annually for 2 years. The 2017 JFA grant recipient is Erina Vlashi, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Vlashi is interested in how ionizing radiation induces the reprogramming of breast cancer cells into stem cells that can lead to increased tumor growth and treatment resistance. 

The ASTRO Resident/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Research Seed Award provides $25,000 per recipient for 1 year. The three 2017 Resident/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Research Seed Award recipients are: 

  • Devarati Mitra, MD, PhD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Dr. Mitra will investigate how administration of hypofractionated radiation modulates the immune response in head and neck carcinoma. 
  • Shushan Rana, MD, of the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland. Dr. Rana will investigate how microRNA, specifically miR-15a, affects endothelial radiosensitivity through the regulation of acid sphingomyelinase ceramide–induced apoptosis, a pathway that is preferentially induced at higher doses of radiation. 
  • Ye Yuan, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Yuan’s interest is in how tumors evade the immune system through upregulation of PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression. 

The grant winners were selected by ASTRO’s Research Grants Evaluation Committee within the Science Council and approved by the ASTRO Board of Directors. 

For more information about ASTRO’s grants and awards, visit ASTRO.org. ■



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