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EIAP Announces Successes from First Two Cohorts

, by CRCHD Staff

Early Investigator Advancement Program (EIAP)

The Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities and the Early Investigator Advancement Program (EIAP) are thrilled to announce the tremendous accomplishments of EIAP Scholars from Cohorts I and II who have attained an R01 or equivalent award!

Dr. Laurie E. McLouth

Dr. Laurie E. McLouth

Dr. Laurie E. McLouth was awarded the Cancer Moonshot Scholars R01 for her application titled, “Pathways, a Hope-Based Intervention to Support Personal Goal Pursuit, Mental Health, and Quality of Life during Advanced Lung Cancer Treatment,” through the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Dr. Jose Alejandro Rauh-Hain

Dr. Jose Alejandro Rauh-Hain

Dr. Jose Alejandro Rauh-Hain was awarded the NIH Research Project Grant R01 for his application titled, “Health Equity in Fertility Specialty Care Among Cancer Survivors,” through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Dr. Rauh-Hain is a former CURE recipient (K08).

Dr. Huy Q. Dinh

Dr. Huy Q. Dinh

Dr. Huy Q. Dinh was awarded the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) R35 for his application titled, “Neutrophil Heterogeneity and Plasticity in Wound Healing,” through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

Dr. Hatice Q. Osmanbeyoglu

Dr. Hatice Q. Osmanbeyoglu

Dr. Hatice U. Osmanbeyoglu reached research independence after being awarded the MIRA R35 award for her application titled, “Computational Methods for Delineating Cell Context-specific Regulatory Programs,” through NIGMS.

Dr. Cristina Zavaleta

Dr. Cristina Zavaleta

Dr. Cristina Zavaleta received the New Investigators to Promote Workforce Diversity in Genomics, Bioinformatics, or Bioengineering and Biomedical Imaging Research R01 for her application titled, “A New Multimodal Molecular Imaging Approach to Guide Intra-Operative Tumor Resection and Post-Operative Treatment Planning,” through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Dr. Zavaleta is a two-time former CURE recipient (K22 and R21) and served as Chair of CRCHD’s annual Mock Review in 2015.

Dr. Edjah Kweku-Ebura Nduom

Dr. Edjah Kweku-Ebura Nduom

Dr. Edjah Kweku-Ebura Nduom, a Neurological Oncologist at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, a Daniel Louis Barrow Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, and Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine was awarded an R01 for his application titled, “Macrophage-targeted lncRNA-regulating nanoparticles for glioblastoma treatment,” through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Dr. Ester Villalonga Olives

Dr. Ester Villalonga Olives

Dr. Ester Villalonga Olives, Associate Professor of the University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Pharmacy & School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor with New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development was awarded an R01 for her application titled, “Assessing intersectional, multilevel and multidimensional structural racism for English- and Spanish-speaking populations in the U.S.,” through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

Dr. Naoko Sasamoto

Dr. Naoko Sasamoto

Dr. Naoko Sasamoto was awarded an Emergency Awards: HEAL Initiative- New Innovator Award (DP2) for her application titled, “Identifying plasma proteomic profiles of chronic pain development in endometriosis from adolescence to adulthood,” through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. These awards support “ground-breaking, highly creative research ideas.” An EIAP Cohort 2 Scholar, Dr. Sasamoto is a board-certified gynecologist, clinical oncologist, and an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Sasamoto's research focuses on improving clinical outcomes of ovarian cancer and endometriosis by integrating omics biomarker data and clinical data.

Dr. Arnold Etame

Dr. Arnold Etame

Dr. Arnold Etame was awarded an R01 for his application, titled “Targeting Malignant Reprogramming of Glioblastoma Stem Cells Through Dual Inhibition of S6K1 and BIRC3,” through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Dr. Etame is a neurological surgeon and scientist specializing in neuro-oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center, as well as an associate professor of oncology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. His research focuses on therapeutic resistance in glioblastoma and on enhanced delivery of targeted therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier for malignant and metastatic brain tumors. Dr. Etame is a CURE R21 scholar.

Dr. Bisrat Debeb

Dr. Bisrat Debeb

Dr. Bisrat Debeb was awarded an R01 through NCI for his application titled, “Deciphering the Mechanism of Lymphovascular Space Invasion Using a Lymphovascularized Bioengineering Breast Stromal Platform.” In addition, Dr. Debeb received a Department of Defense Breakthrough Award—Level 2 for his work on “Targeting Novel Mediators of Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis.” Dr. Debeb is a former K22 and R21 CURE Scholar through CRCHD.

We understand the incredible sacrifice it takes for cancer researchers and clinician scientists to work toward this milestone.

The NCI Equity Council launched EIAP in 2021 to facilitate the advancement of scientists from diverse backgrounds to become established investigators. Although EIAP provides essential support, it is the hard work, commitment, and perseverance of the scholars that lead to becoming an established investigator. The nation depends on diverse and creative talents to achieve the NCI’s goals of discovering new ways to advance cancer research and eliminate cancer health disparities. Congratulations to our EIAP Scholars for your achievements and dedication to cancer and cancer health disparities research!

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