Dr. Laura Bukavina Wins a Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award

Dr. Laura Bukavina, a Urologic Oncology Fellow at Fox Chase and lead author
Dr. Laura Bukavina, a Urologic Oncology Fellow at Fox Chase, awarded 2022 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award

PHILADELPHIA (May 25, 2022)—Laura Bukavina, MD, MPH, a Urologic Oncology Fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been awarded a 2022 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award, which supports future research leaders and ensures they receive the necessary training and guidance for a successful research career. The Urology Care Foundation is the official foundation of the American Urological Association (AUA).

Bukavina will receive a one-year award for $40,000 to investigate tumor infiltrating lymphocytes using an immunoscore prediction model. The research will be conducted under the mentorship of Philip Abbosh, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Molecular Therapeutics research program at Fox Chase.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Bukavina and are very excited to see that her promise as a translational urologic oncologist is being supported by the AUA and the Urology Care Foundations. The work that is being proposed in this grant has the potential to further our understanding of the management of bladder cancer and have a direct impact in the clinic,” said Andres F. Correa, MD, director of the Urologic Oncology Fellowship and an assistant professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at Fox Chase.

“The Urology Care Foundation is committed to improving urologic health by supporting research, patient education, and fostering humanitarian endeavors,” said Harris M. Nagler, MD, the foundation’s president. “When we support researchers we support individuals who will improve our ability to prevent, detect, and treat urologic diseases and thus improve urologic health for all.”

Earlier this year, Bukavina received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Conquer Cancer Merit Award. She presented the winning abstract, which characterized the gut microbiome of bladder cancer patients, at the 2022 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in February. Abbosh also mentored Bukavina for that project, in which they compared the microbiomes of patients with bladder cancer and a cancer-free control group by collecting and analyzing stool samples from both groups.

Bukavina’s Research Scholar Award project will investigate the role of immune environment, particularly lymphocytes and macrophages, and define their role within immunotherapy response in bladder cancer. The investigators hope to take this a step further by utilizing artificial intelligence mapping for automated risk stratification of patients based on their immune infiltration prior to and during immunotherapy, she said. 

“The AUA and the Urology Care Foundation understand the importance of recruiting exceptional young investigators into urology research and fostering their career success,” said Steven Kaplan, MD, chair of the AUA’s Research Council. “We’re proud of the 2022 awardees and know that their work will have a significant impact on the practice of urology and the lives of those affected by urologic diseases and conditions.”

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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