Before the first of her 107 research papers was published, before she mentored fellow scientists, and before she became the medical director for the Native American Programs with the Mayo Clinic, Judith Kaur, MD, was the first recipient of the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) of ASCO Young Investigator Award (YIA).
Since 1984, CCF has awarded 953 YIAs to fund physicians like Dr. Kaur during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. During the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, more than $3 million will be provided to early-career physicians in support of their studies.
Still, CCF is only funding 10% of YIA applicants, which is why the Foundation’s leadership, including Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, chair of CCF’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, are championing CCF-supported researchers during the Annual Meeting. The commitment of ASCO and Foundation leaders to invest in cancer research inspired an awareness and fundraising campaign, Why YIA?, which aims to highlight the impact supporting early-career researchers has on cancer care. The goal is to fund two to four YIAs with donations made during the 2017 Annual Meeting.
“The answers to the question ‘Why YIA?’ are many and are often unique to each researcher we support,” Dr. Roberts said. “The Foundation invests in the brightest minds in cancer research, and it pays off. Nearly all the researchers we’ve supported have remained in oncology, and most go on to receive additional grants, develop treatments, and lead clinical trials. Why YIA? Because curiosity conquers cancer.”
For example, Dr. Kaur credits her YIA to stimulating a long research career during which she has studied a variety of cancer treatments. Without funding, Dr. Kaur and her fellow YIA recipients may not have been able to conduct their research projects.
“We have many more research ideas and researchers that we need to support that aren’t being supported through other mechanisms,” Dr. Kaur said.
To learn more about the impact of other YIA recipients and support future YIA researchers, visit CONQUER.ORG/WHY.
How Your Contributions Help
- $64,000: Supports a young investigator’s research for 1 year
- $16,000: Supports a young investigator’s research for 3 months
- $5,300: Supports a young investigator’s research for 1 month
- $175: Supports a young investigator’s research for 1 day