7 Cancer Researchers Selected as Pew-Stewart Scholars

7 Cancer Researchers Selected as Pew-Stewart Scholars

PHILADELPHIA—The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust announced today the 2019 class members of the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research.

The seven early-career scholars who make up the 2019 class are spearheading innovative research efforts designed to find cures for cancer, with each receiving a four-year grant to advance these initiatives. This is the sixth year that the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust has partnered with Pew to support researchers pursuing groundbreaking work focused on better understanding the origins, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

“Cancer is a complex, devastating disease that the medical and scientific communities are diligently working to understand and ultimately cure,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. “Pew is proud to support researchers who have dedicated their careers to this noble cause.”   

The class of 2019 is examining several promising areas of cancer research, including strategies to reprogram tumor-associated immune cells, investigate a mutant protein in lung cancer, and develop methods to treat acute myeloid leukemia, among other topics.  

“Curing cancer demands curiosity, ingenuity, and perseverance from researchers,” said Peter M. Howley, M.D., chair of the Pew-Stewart national advisory committee. “This new class of scholars displays those traits, and I am eager to see what they can accomplish.”

The 2019 Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research are:

Michel DuPage, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. DuPage will investigate how the immune system is suppressed within the tumor microenvironment.

Luke Gilbert, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Gilbert will develop strategies to treat a form of acute myeloid leukemia that is associated with a mutation or deficiency in the TP53 protein.

Diana Hargreaves, Ph.D.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Dr. Hargreaves will explore how tumor-associated macrophages can be reprogrammed to treat cancer.

Piro Lito, M.D., Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dr. Lito will investigate how mutant KRAS proteins drive lung cancer, aiming to identify novel therapies for this disease.

Chao Lu, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Dr. Lu will investigate how abnormalities in the way chromosomes are modified contribute to the development of cancer.

Stefani Spranger, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Spranger will examine how the makeup of patients’ tumor immune microenvironment contributes to their response to immunotherapy.

Gabriel D. Victora, Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University
Dr. Victora will characterize the dynamic interaction between different immune cell types as cancers develop and change over time.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at pewtrusts.org.