The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF)
has awarded 27 new Young Investigator Award selected from 16 countries to advance new drug discovery, immunotherapy, nutritional sciences, and diagnostics for precision medicine. Young Investigator (YI) Awards stand out among PCF’s prestigious research programs, and serve to jumpstart the research careers of recent MDs and PhDs. These 3-year awards are game-changing investments that attract and retain innovative new cancer research talent. As part of the YI program, grantees are mentored by preeminent scientific leaders in prostate cancer research. Each award is matched dollar-for-dollar by the investigator’s institution.
“The goal of the YI program is to identify exceptional scientists, early in their careers, who will pioneer and transform new biotechnologies into saving lives of prostate cancer patients,” says Jonathan W. Simons, president and CEO of PCF. “We are especially proud of our Young Investigators who have gone on to become mentors themselves.” To learn more, go to: pcf.org/manhood-for-good
To date, the YI program has funded 153 of the most talented, outstanding scientists for research in prostate cancer, a disease that affects 1 in 7 US men. Successful proposals in this year’s competition reflect a growing trend towards the analysis of tumor biology to more accurately predict prognosis and optimize treatment for individual patients. The results of this work will ultimately enable doctors to make more accurate diagnoses, personalize treatment to individual patients, and improve the outcomes for all prostate cancer patients. Other YI research objectives focus on improving the treatment of advanced prostate cancer by testing vaccines that redirect a patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.
Since 2008, YI recipients have been responsible for newly FDA-approved medicines, pioneering discoveries related to prostate cancer diagnostics, disease progression, and the development of treatment resistance. This includes the discovery of a gene fusion associated with prostate cancer, known as TMPRSS2:ERG, and the development of a diagnostic urine-based test with specificity far greater than current screenings for prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Though all highly innovative research proposals were considered, priority was given to higher risk, highest potential of impact to deliver benefits to patients in the near term.
PCF has granted YI Awards totaling over $33 million at 67 cancer centers. The awards are inspired by a scientific founder, Donald S. Coffey, PhD, the Prostate Cancer Research Director at Johns Hopkins University for four decades.