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Advocacy Group Awards $300,000 to Young Scientists in Search of a Cure for Bladder Cancer

Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) May 11, 2013

Just as National Cancer Research month begins, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) has announced the recipients of its Young Investigator Awards. BCAN’s Scientific Review Group, chaired by Matt Milowsky, MD at the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, evaluated 36 applications from 29 institutions.

The BCAN Young Investigator Award was granted to David DeGraff, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for “Transcriptional Control of Bladder Cancer Tumorigenesis.”

The Raymond and Maria Floyd Family Young Investigator Award was received by Debashis Sahoo, PhD, an Instructor at Stanford University for “High resolution molecular analysis of CD-47mediated immune escape in bladder cancer.”

The James Family Young Investigator Award was awarded to Gopa Iyer, MD, a Clinical Instructor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for “Identifying Predictors of Response to mTOR-targeted Therapies in Bladder Cancer.”

“We are excited about being able to offer awards that are large enough to have a significant impact on new research being undertaken throughout the country,” says BCAN President and Co-Founder, Diane Zipursky Quale. “Research in bladder cancer is woefully underfunded, so we are incredibly grateful to our supporters for contributing private dollars to help young, innovative investigators stay in the field of bladder cancer research.”

BCAN’s new Young Investigator Awards are intended to support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer. Investigators may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other field, but must be working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational bladder cancer research. Each Young Investigator is awarded $100,000 over a two-year period.

The program was seeded through a $250,000 challenge grant received from the Gerald C. McNamara and Renée K. Petrofes Charitable Fund encouraging outstanding young researchers to focus on bladder cancer research. BCAN responded by raising more than $500,000 in additional private funds to further develop the program. Two of the awards hold the names of prominent supporters of bladder cancer research whose families have been directly affected by the disease: the Raymond and Maria Floyd Family Young Investigator Award and the James Family Foundation Young Investigator Award.

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About the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN – pronounced beacon) was created in May 2005 as the first national non-profit patient-based advocacy organization for bladder cancer. BCAN’s mission is to increase public awareness about bladder cancer, advance bladder cancer research, and provide educational and support services for the bladder cancer community. BCAN is a national collaborative effort among bladder cancer survivors, their loved ones, and the medical community. For more information on BCAN, please visit the web site at or call 888-901-BCAN.

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