Junior Investigators Win Awards for Pilot Projects

PHILADELPHIA (January 18, 2017) – Fox Chase Cancer Center is pleased to announce the results of its American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (IRG) Pilot Project Competition for Junior Investigators. The competition was open to eligible junior faculty at Fox Chase and Temple University Hospital.

The awardees are Yibin Yang, PhD, Matthew R. Zibelman, MD, and Namrata (Neena) Vijayvergia, MD.

Yibin Yang, PhD
Yibin Yang, PhD

Yang won for his proposal, "Investigating the NF-kB pathway in Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma using high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9 library screens.”

Matthew Zibelman, MD

Zibelman, for his proposal, “Defining the genomic and histologic landscape of primary and metastatic tumors with divergent kinetics in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) or urothelial carcinoma (UC) treated with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB).”

Namrata Vijayvergia, MD

Vijayvergia received a Special Interest Award for her proposal, “Feasibility of using fitness tracker to assess activity level and toxicities in patients with localized/advanced colorectal cancer: A Fox Chase Cancer Center Pilot Study.” The Special Interest Award provides support for psychosocial and behavioral research, health policy or health services research, cancer in the poor and medically underserved, and childhood cancer.  

The purpose of the IRG is to provide seed money for the initiation of promising new projects by newer investigators so they can leverage preliminary results that enable them to compete successfully for national research grants. Each award provides funding of $60,000 over two years.

“We are grateful to the American Cancer Society for enabling us to encourage research by the next generation of investigators,” said Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, senior vice president and chief scientific officer at Fox Chase. Chernoff serves as Principal Investigator of the American Cancer Society grant and chair of the review committee for the competition.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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