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BCAN Names 2017 Young Investigator Awardees

PUBLISHED June 02, 2017


 The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) announced the recipients of the 2017 Young Investigator Awards. The Young Investigator Awards support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer. BCAN is pleased to grant two awards of $50,000 to support one year of research. 

The Stephen Hale Gushée Young Investigator Award will support the research of Tracy Rose, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill, for her research, “Defining the Immune Response to Chemotherapy and Chemo-Immunotherapy in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.” While newly approved immunotherapy treatments are showing great promise for many bladder cancer patients, the complicated immune system changes seen with standard chemotherapy and chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy have not been studied in bladder cancer. Dr. Rose’s work will assist the development and optimization of chemo-immunotherapy combinations in bladder cancer to ultimately improve the cure rate of this deadly disease. 

The JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award will further the research of Byron Lee, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, on “Ascertaining the Role of Mutations in COMPASS-like Complex Members in the Development of Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma.” Upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) accounts for 5-10% of all urothelial carcinomas, and very few treatment options exist, especially for those patients who have disease recurrence after kidney removal and inadequate kidney function for cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Dr. Lee will be investigating how mutations affect disease progression and response to therapy, with the goal of deepening the understanding of how UTUC arises and also to provide novel drug targets for testing. 

“Since we began our Young Investigator Awards, BCAN has invested more than one million dollars to support early career investigators like Dr. Rose and Dr. Lee. Advancing quality research has always been a top priority for BCAN. Funding their work exemplifies our efforts to make a difference in the lives of those diagnosed with bladder cancer. We are grateful for the generous support from The JPB Foundation and the family and friends of Stephen Hale Gushée for making these awards possible,” stated Andrea Maddox-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of BCAN. 

About the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network 

BCAN is the leading voice for bladder cancer in the US, providing resources to not only those diagnosed with the disease but their families, caregivers and the medical community united in support of people touched by the disease. The organization is setting the agenda for bladder cancer by promoting and funding collaborative, cutting-edge research programs, and providing critical patient support and education services. Each year, it provides thousands of patients, caregivers and the medical community with the educational resources and support services they need to navigate their bladder cancer journey. For more information go to or call 1-888-901-BCAN (2226). 

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