Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, Awards More Than $10 Million to Support Cancer Research

For immediate release
May 27, 2021


Vicki Kilpatrick
(571) 483-13688

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipients of its awards supporting researchers with projects spanning across many areas in cancer care, including immunotherapy, precision medicine, breast cancer, and palliative care. This year Conquer Cancer is funding the most number of YIAs ever and the most CDAs in the past 15 years. The awards will be given in conjunction with the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting. 

“Conquer Cancer is proud to recognize the 2021 Grant and Award recipients. This group’s outstanding ideas will fuel discoveries to help patients everywhere,” said Howard A. Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, chair, Conquer Cancer Board of Directors. “We are particularly grateful for the many generous donors who support these awards and enabled funding for these researchers, even during a global health crisis, to ensure they can continue studying new and improved therapies for every type of cancer.”  

Advanced Clinical Research Award for Diversity and Inclusion with a Focus on Breast Cancer 

The Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) for Diversity and Inclusion is designed with the primary goal of increasing diversity in the oncology workforce and cancer research. The 2021 Conquer Cancer- Breast Cancer Research Foundation® ACRA recipient is Marjory Charlot, MD, MPH, MSc, from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Charlot will receive $450,000 over the next three years to further her research project, “A User-centered Mobile Health App to Promote Participation of Black Women in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials.” 

Advanced Clinical Research Award in Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy 

The Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) in Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy is designed to support physician-scientists committed to performing original, clinical cancer research in an area not currently funded. This research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. The 2021 Conquer Cancer- Bristol Myers Squibb Advanced Clinical Research Award recipient is Brent Hanks, MD, PhD, from Duke University. Dr. Hanks will receive $450,000 over the next three years to further his research project, “Clinical Biomarker Study of the Tumor NLRP3 Inflammasome and its Role in Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy Resistance.” 

Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship 

The Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship provides funding to an early career investigator who is committed to conducting breast cancer research. The 2021 Conquer Cancer- GlaxoSmithKline Oncology Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Research Fellowship Award recipient is Jessica M. Pastoriza, MD, from Montefiore Medical Center.  

Career Development Awards 

The Career Development Award (CDA) is a three-year grant that funds clinical investigators who have received their initial faculty appointment and are working to establish an independent, patient-focused, clinical cancer research program. This year, 20 promising clinicians will receive CDAs, the most Conquer Cancer has awarded since 2006.  

Young Investigator Awards 

The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in oncology. The grant supports pre-clinical and clinical cancer research projects by oncologists who are undergoing a career transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. This year, 95 investigators will receive YIAs, the most Conquer Cancer has ever awarded.     

Global Oncology Young Investigator Awards 

The Global Oncology Young Investigator Award (GO YIA) supports early-career researchers with projects focused on addressing global health needs when it comes to cancer. This year five researchers will be awarded with GO YIAs.  

International Innovation Grants  

The International Innovation Grant (IIG) provides research funding in support of novel and innovative projects that can have a significant impact on cancer control in low- and middle-income countries. It is intended to support proposals that have the potential to reduce the cancer burden in local communities, while also being potentially transferable to other low- or middle-income settings. This year 13 researchers will be awarded with IIG. 

Click here for the full list of recipients. 


ACRA Donors - This grant was generously supported by Breast Cancer Research Foundation® and Bristol Myers Squibb. 

Bonadonna Donor - This grant was generously supported by GlaxoSmithKline Oncology. 

CDA Donors - These grants were generously supported by AbbVie, Inc., AstraZeneca, Edith C. Blum Foundation, Inc., Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, Stephen A. Cannistra, MD, Marc L. Citron, MD, Cohen Family Charitable Fund, Conquer Cancer Research Fund, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Genentech BioOncology™, Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Eugene and Janet Lerner Family Foundation, Lilly, Mission Endowment of Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, The Phase Foundation, and Generous Supporters of the Women Who Conquer Cancer. 

YIA donors - These grants were generously supported by Anonymous, AbbVie, Inc., AbbVie Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO State Affiliate Council and ASCO Clinical Practice Committee, Association of Northern California Oncologists, AstraZeneca, Board Members of Conquer Cancer, ASCO and CancerLinQ, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Nina Lesavoy Brady, Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, Bristol Myers Squibb, Howard A. Burris, III, MD and Karen Y. Burris, Celgene Corporation, Marc L. Citron, MD, Conquer Cancer Research Fund, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Trisha Elcan, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., Gateway for Cancer Research, Genentech BioOncology™, HELSINN, Friends, Colleagues, and Family of Joe Hogan, Friends and Family of Dr. Arti Hurria, Janssen Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Judith Salmon Kaur, MD, Kyowa Kirin, Inc., LA Kunkel Foundation, The John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation, Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance, The Page & Otto Marx, Jr. Foundation, Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists, ME STRONG, Merck & Co., Inc., Georgia and Michael Michelson, Victoria H. Montgomery, Novartis Oncology, Oncocyte, Greg Parekh/ New Rhein Healthcare, LLC, Pfizer Oncology, The Phase Foundation, The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation, Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, FASCO and Susan M. DaSilva, DNP, Colleagues, Friends, and Family of Dr. Gladys Rodriguez and Dr. Narjust Duma, Sapiente Family Foundation, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Sarcoma Foundation of America, Aaron and Barbro Sasson, Susan & Teresa Schwab Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, Shanken Family Foundation, Stephen A. Sherwin, MD, The Sontag Foundation, Strike 3 Foundation, Texas Society of Clinical Oncology, Vaniam Group LLC, The Wawa Foundation, Women Leaders in Oncology LLC, Friends and Family of Women Leaders in Pediatric Oncology, Generous Supporters of the Women Who Conquer Cancer, and The WWWW Foundation Inc. (QuadW) and The QuadW Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas. 

GO YIA donors - These grants were generously supported by Bristol Myers Squibb and Mission Endowment of Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation. 

IIG donors - These grants were generously supported by Mission Endowment of Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation and Roche. 

About ASCO: 

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (the Society) is committed to the principle that knowledge conquers cancer. Together with the Association for Clinical Oncology, ASCO® represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of high quality and equitable patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, supports the Society by funding groundbreaking research and education across cancer’s full continuum. Learn more at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.