We are thrilled that an investigator from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded one of three Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) Young Investigator Awards to support bladder cancer research. A JPB Foundation Young Investigator Award was granted to Ryoichi Saito, MD, PhD for his project, “Consequences of ARID1A Inactivation in Bladder Cancer.” Dr. Saito will be expanding the findings from The Cancer Genome Atlas Project in bladder cancer, an important project for which his mentor, William Kim, at UNC has had a national leadership role. Dr. Saito’s project is specifically focusing on a mutated gene in one of the most frequently altered pathways to better characterize its mechanism in tumor development. He will also be developing a novel mouse model for bladder cancer. Dr. Saito is a visiting scholar to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, taking time away from his primary appointment on the faculty as an academic urologist at Kyoto University in Japan to work under the mentorship of Dr. Kim, an international leader in translational bladder cancer research.
We also congratulate this year’s other two Award winners, Sunny Guin, PhD, of the University of Colorado and Dmitriy Zamarin, MD, PhD, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
First launched in 2013, BCAN’s Young Investigator Awards seek to fund those researchers who may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other scientific or research field, but are also working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational bladder cancer research. Each awardee this year will receive a two-year grant totaling $100,000 to support their research efforts. This year’s recipients were selected by BCAN’s Scientific Review Group from a field of 32 applicants from 27 institutions. Since inception, BCAN has raised over $1 million to support its Young Investigator Awards program. For more information about BCAN or the Young Investigator Awards, go to www.bcan.org or call 1-888-901-BCAN.