Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants fellowship awards to 18 top young scientists
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New York, NY (August 27, 2018) – The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, named 18 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its Spring Fellowship Award Committee review. The recipients of this prestigious, four-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country. The Fellowship encourages the nation’s most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($231,000 total) to work on innovative projects.

May 2018 Damon Runyon Fellows:

Matthew Bakalar, PhD, with his sponsor Nir Hacohen, PhD, at The Broad Institute, Cambridge, is developing new methods to discover the millions of interactions between T-cell receptors and foreign antigens that trigger an immune response. In many cancers, such as metastatic melanoma, immunotherapy depends on the ability of T cells to recognize and respond to tumor-specific neoantigens–new proteins found on cancer cells, which let the immune system know that these are not normal cells. Collecting the data on this relationship can help create computational models to predict the antigen-target of a patient’s individual T cell receptor, which could then guide the design of patient-specific cancer vaccines

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