Young Investigators awarded $200k to study innovative new ways to engage the body’s immune system to fight lung cancer

Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) and the International Lung Cancer Foundation (ILCF) are excited to announce the winners of two new Young Investigator grants

Two new $200,000 grant-funded studies supported by the Lung Cancer Foundation of America, the International Lung Cancer Foundation, and generously funded in part by Bristol-Myers Squibb, are investigating ways to harness the body’s powerful immune system to better treat lung cancer. Both Young Investigator grant studies focus on addressing lung cancer tumors that are not responsive to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.

The grant recipients are:

  • Jacob Kaufman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University James Cancer Center

Dr. Kaufman is a physician-scientist specializing in lung cancer research. His Young Investigator research will try to determine why lung cancer tumors with the loss of the LKB1 gene are inherently resistant to immunotherapy. Dr. Kaufman hopes this work may lead to the future development of novel treatment approaches to improve outcomes in patients living with this type of lung cancer.

  • Ramin Salehi-Rad, MD, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Salehi-Rad is a lung cancer researcher studying the effects of a novel lung cancer vaccine that uses modified cells from the patient’s own tumor. The effect sensitizes resistant lung cancers to current anti-PD-1 immunotherapies. Through the Young Investigator grant, Dr. Salehi-Rad hopes to facilitate the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies to treat lung cancer. ​ 

Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Salehi-Rad join an impressive group of Young Investigators funded through the LCFA/ILCF research grants that have helped direct more than $8 million toward lung cancer research in order to attract the best and the brightest to the field of lung cancer. The goal is to fund the best research to make the largest possible positive impact for patients with lung cancer. 


About the International Lung Cancer Foundation (ILCF) 

The International Lung Cancer Foundation aims to accelerate the pace of thoracic malignancy research, to inspire researchers to focus their careers on lung cancer, and to reduce the worldwide lung cancer mortality rate. Established in 2014, the ILCF has provided over $10 million towards global lung cancer research. Through the power of collaboration, support from Pharma, and generous individual donors, the ILCF inspires hope through research. 

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About Lung Cancer Foundation of America

LCFA’s mission is the improvement in survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science.

While raising funds to support lung cancer research, LCFA will raise the public’s awareness and serve as a resource for patients or anyone seeking answers, hope, and access to updated treatment information, scientific investigation, and clinical trials.

The Lung Cancer Foundation of America's Speakers Bureau is a group of survivors and those whose lives have been affected by lung cancer. Their mission is to spread awareness, information and hope in the fight against the leading cause of cancer death. Bureau speakers are available for interviews with the media.


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