Congratulations to NANETS members Nitya Raj, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Daniel M. Halperin, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, for being 2018 Conquer Cancer Foundation Career Development Award Recipients!

Raj and Halperin

 Nitya Raj, MD, mentored by NANETS Board Member Diane Reidy, MD, received the award for her work on Mutational Landscape of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors - Therapeutic Implications of Genetic Evolution Over tTme and Therapy.

Dr. Raj is an Assistant Attending Physician in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Raj’s clinical practice is devoted to caring for people with neuroendocrine tumors, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Her research focuses on identifying new therapies for people with neuroendocrine cancers. In addition, she is studying ways to improve our understanding of how neuroendocrine tumors change at the genetic level, both over time and as a result of different treatments. The goal of her work is to better personalize our care for people fighting these cancers. 
For her research, Dr. Raj has been recognized and supported by the American Society of Clinical Oncology through a Young Investigator Award in 2015 and Merit Award in Gastrointestinal Cancers in 2016, and also by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation through a Pilot Project Grant Award in 2017. 
Daniel Halperin, MD, mentored by NANETS past chair James Yao, MD, received the award for his work on Harnessing the Immune System in Neuroendocrine Tumors.
Dr. Halperin is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator focused on the development of novel treatments for patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), in addition to providing high-quality clinical care to patients with NETs and other gastrointestinal cancers. He leads clinical trials of new drugs for patients with NETs at MD Anderson, and works together with a team of laboratory and population scientists to understand more fully the molecular underpinnings and clinical manifestations of neuroendocrine tumors. He is also a member of the Neuroendocrine and Adrenal Tumor guideline committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, contributing to evidence-based guidelines for the care of NET patients. Dr. Halperin has a particular interest in the immunology of neuroendocrine tumors and the use of immunotherapy for patients with NETs. As such, he has received peer-reviewed funding from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation, as well as a Career Development Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to understand the immunology of NETs and leads a clinical trial of immunotherapy with atezolizumab and bevacizumab for patients with specific rare solid tumors, including two separate cohorts of patients with advanced well-differentiated NETs.