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We introduced three of our seven new research awardees in an earlier post:

  • Maarten Bosland, D.V.Sc., Ph.D., Awesome Games Done Quick Research Grant in Prostate Cancer
  • Sonia de Assis, Ph.D., Holden Family Research Grant in Breast Cancer Prevention
  • Ronac Mamtani, M.D., M.S.C.E., Figdor Family Research Award in Cancer Prevention

Now, meet the remaining four:

  • Ying Fu, Ph.D., Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation Award in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
  • Ronan Kelly, M.D., M.B.A., Lilly USA Research Award in Cancer Prevention and Early detection
  • Stacy Park, Ph.D., M.S.
  • Kathryn Taylor, Ph.D., Richard C. Devereaux Outstanding Investigator Award in Lung Cancer Prevention

Recently, we asked these four awardees to discuss their interest in cancer and the impact of this funding on their future research.

fuYing Fu, Ph.D., Georgetown University
Named Award: Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation Award in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
What he will study: Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Liver Cancer Prevention

What led to your interest in liver cancer research?
“Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer–related deaths worldwide; it already took two friends from me. I am going to fight back using my research as a weapon.”

How will funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation further your research?
“The funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation provides a good opportunity for me to learn how to manage and conduct a project towards early liver cancer detection and prevention.”

ronanRonan Kelly, M.D., M.B.A., Johns Hopkins University
Named Award: Lilly USA Research Award in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
What he will study: Targeting the Hedgehog Pathway in Barrett’s Esophagus Using Itraconazole

What led to your interest in esophageal cancer research?
“Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus has increased an alarming 450% amongst men in the last 3 decades and similar trends are now being seen in women. Because of limited research, there has been a lack of significant breakthroughs in the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic esophageal cancer. I am dedicated to investigating novel immunotherapeutic and epigenetic strategies to improve patient survival and outcomes with this devastating disease. If we can detect and treat early premalignant changes in the esophagus, we may be able to decrease the number of patients that ultimately develop invasive esophageal cancer.”

How will funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation further your research?
“With the funding that we have received from the Prevent Cancer Foundation we will explore the possibility that the Hedgehog pathway is a significant target in patients who have resistant Barrett’s esophagus. Johns Hopkins investigators have determined that a commonly used antifungal agent Itraconazole is a potent Hedgehog inhibitor. We hope that ultimately Itraconazole can be used to prevent the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma and to decrease the amount of patients who need a debilitating esophagectomy.”

parkStacy Park, Ph.D., M.S., University of California, Los Angeles
What she will study: The Role of E-cigarettes in the Pathogenesis of Lung Cancer

What led to your interest in lung cancer research?
“My interest in lung cancer research stems from my graduate studies, which involved studying a common but devastating pulmonary infection. The fact that lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and worldwide and is associated with extremely poor prognosis despite current advances in early detection and standard treatment motivated me to focus my post-graduate studies on lung cancer prevention and control.”

How will funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation further your research?
“In a tight funding climate, especially for junior research investigators, the support from the Prevent Cancer Foundation is extremely important in advancing my current work with e-cigarettes and helping me remain competitive for future awards from other grant agencies. I strongly believe that this award will be instrumental in allowing me to pursue my career goals as an independent academic researcher.”

taylorKathryn Taylor, Ph.D., Georgetown University
Named Award: Richard C. Devereaux Outstanding Investigator Award in Lung Cancer Prevention
What she will study: Smoking Cessation in Lung Cancer Screening Participants

What led to your interest in lung cancer research?
“As a behavioral scientist, my interest in lung cancer research concerns reducing tobacco use in an effort to reduce lung cancer. In particular, I am interested in developing ways to assist smokers who are undergoing lung cancer screening. We are developing a cessation intervention that capitalizes on the ‘teachable moment’ or brief period in which individuals may be particularly motivated to stop smoking. Given that there are millions of current smokers in the U.S. who are eligible to undergo lung cancer screening, we are very excited the about the importance of this research.”

How will funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation further your research?
“The Prevent Cancer Foundation funding will allow us to develop and evaluate a pilot smoking cessation intervention that is specifically designed for use with lung cancer screening participants. In a small-randomized trial, we will test whether the telephone counseling intervention just after receiving screening results yields a change in the number of people who quit and attempt to quit compared to standard self-help strategies.”

Learn more about our new researchers. Take a look at researchers funded in earlier years in the Prevent Cancer family of researchers. Each Prevent Cancer researcher has funding of $40,000 per year for two years.