Forward Fund Announces Recipients of Cancer Immunotherapy Fellowships and Technology Awards

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Thomas Martin, Communications and Membership Director
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August 11, 2022


Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Forward Fund Announces Recipients of Cancer Immunotherapy Fellowships and Technology Awards

MILWAUKEE – The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Forward Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Fellowships and Technology Awards, which support the next generation of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology experts through dedicated funding of novel research.

“Together with the immense generosity of our supporters, SITC is honored to help young investigators realize their cancer immunotherapy research dreams,” said SITC President Patrick Hwu, MD. “It is our hope that these young researchers turn their dreams and ‘cure’ into a reality for all cancer patients.”

These awards are financially supported through the Forward Fund, which was established by SITC in 2012 to stimulate the future of science, development and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy through financially supporting its education and research. Since 2014, SITC has awarded more than $5 million in funding to deserving early career scientists in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

The 2022 SITC Fellowship and Technology Award recipients are:

SITC-Bristol Myers Squibb Postdoctoral Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Fellowship
Award Amount:
$200,000 (two-year)
Simone Minnie, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Project Title:
“Harnessing Treg fragility to improve anti-myeloma immune responses”

SITC-Amgen Cancer Immunotherapy in Hematologic Malignancies Fellowship
Award Amount
: $100,000 (one-year)
Awardee: John Ligon, MD
Institution: University of Florida
Project Title: “Leveraging CD70 CXCR2-modified CAR T-cells for treating AML”

SITC-AstraZeneca Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer Clinical Fellowship
Award Amount: $100,000 (one-year)
Awardee: Jonathan Chen, MD, PhD
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title: “Dissecting the tumor immunity multicellular network”

SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship
Award Amount: $100,000 (one-year)
Awardee: Hitomi Hosoya, MD, PhD
Institution: Stanford University
Project Title: “Cell-free DNA-based Platform to Determine Treatment Response and Resistant Mechanisms to CAR T-cell Therapy in Multiple Myeloma”

SITC-Genentech Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Fellowship
Award Amount: $50,000 (one-year)
Awardee: Shu-chin Lai, PhD
Institution: Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
Project Title: “Augmenting T cell immunity to facilitate metastatic breast cancer treatment”

SITC-Nektar Therapeutics Equity and Inclusion in Cancer Immunotherapy Fellowship
Award Amount:
$50,000 (one-year)
Awardee: Mara De Martino, PhD
Institution: Weill Cornell Medicine
Project Title
: “Targeting FASN to sensitize irradiated glioblastoma to immunotherapy”

SITC-Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Adverse Events in Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship
Award Amount:
$40,000 (one-year)
Awardee: Steven Blum, MD
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital
Project Title
: “Distinguishing Immune-Related Adverse Events (irAEs) from Anti-Tumor Immunity”

SITC-Natera ctDNA in Immunotherapy Response Monitoring Fellowship and Technology Award
$40,000 and access to Natera’s Signatera™ testing technology
Awardee: Mariya Rozenblit, MD
Institution: Yale University
Project Title
: “The tumor microenvironment of triple negative breast cancers with detectable circulating tumor DNA after pembrolizumab treatment”

SITC-NanoString Technologies Single Cell Biology Award
Award: Access to NanoString Technologies’ CosMx™ Spatial Molecular Imager (SMI)
Awardee: Elshad Hasanov, MD, PhD
Institution: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Project Title
: “CosMxing renal cell carcinoma brain metastases to decipher immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance mechanisms at single-cell and spatial context”

This year’s SITC Forward Fund Fellowships and Technology Awards were made possible through the generosity of Amgen, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Nektar Therapeutics, NanoString Technologies and Natera Technologies. The fellowship and technology award recipients will be honored during a ceremony at the society’s 37th Annual Meeting, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

To learn more about current and past SITC Fellowship and Technology Award recipients, visit SITC’s website.

About SITC

Established in 1984, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is a nonprofit organization of medical professionals dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the development, science and application of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. SITC is comprised of influential basic and translational scientists, practitioners, health care professionals, government leaders and industry professionals around the globe. Through educational initiatives that foster scientific exchange and collaboration among leaders in the field, SITC aims to one day make the word “cure” a reality for cancer patients everywhere. Learn more about SITC, our educational offerings and other resources at and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.