2022

Solmaz AghaAmiri, PhD
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
NTIG

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) congratulates Solmaz AghaAmiri, PhD, Post-Doctoral Researcher, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), as the 2022 recipient of NANETS Theranostics Investigator Grant (NTIG). Dr. AghaAmiri was awarded this scholarship for her proposal: Overcoming MGMT resistance in NETs with a tumor-targeted drug conjugate.

Dr, AghaAmiri will be mentored by Dr. Ali Azhdarinia (Associate Professor, McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), and Center for Translational Cancer Research at the Institute of Molecular Medicine) and Daniel Halperin, MD, medical oncologist, MD Anderson Cancer Center and NANETS board member.

The NTIG award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) and supported by an educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation on behalf of Advanced Accelerator Applications.


Vineeth Sukrithan, MD
The Ohio State University
NCIS

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) congratulates Vineeth Sukrithan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, The Ohio State University, as the 2022 recipient of the NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS). Dr. Sukrithan as awarded the NCIS for his proposal: The Role of LAG-3 and its Ligands in Neuroendocrine Tumors Treated with Immunotherapy.

The NCIS is a $100,000 two-year award made possible by the support of Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, a long-time supporter of NANETS’ educational events and research.


Eleonora Pelle, MD
Moffitt Cancer Center
BTSI

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) congratulates Eleonora Pelle, MD, Post-
Doctoral Researcher, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, as the 2022 recipient of NANETS’ Basic/Translational Science Investigator Award (BTSI). Dr. Pelle was awarded this scholarship for her proposal: Development of a Novel Anti-SSTR Bispecific T-cell Engager (BiTE)-like Molecule for the Treatment of Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs).

The BTSI award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the
Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). The purpose of the BTSI Award is to encourage
scientists at the end of their fellowship who have secured a faculty appointment or scientists beginning
their faculty appointment to pursue research focused on neuroendocrine tumors.


2023

Jose Nunez Rodriguez, MD, MSc
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Odette Cancer Centre

NTIG

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) congratulates Jose Nunez Rodriguez, MD, MSc, Fellow at the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Odette Cancer Centre, in Toronto, ON, Canada as the 2023 recipient of NANETS Theranostics Investigator Grant (NTIG). Dr. Nunez Rodriguez was awarded this scholarship for his proposal: Personalized Patient Derived Xenografts (PDXovo) to test the synergistic effect of PRRT and Immunotherapy for NENs.

After finishing a year-long neuroendocrine program with Dr. Rachel Riechelmann at the AC Camargo Cancer Centre in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Jose Nunez Rodriguez moved to Toronto to work as a Medical Oncology Clinical Fellow with a focus on neuroendocrine tumors at the University of Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Odette Cancer Centre. Dr. Simron Singh, his mentor, was crucial in bringing Dr. Nunez Rodriguez on board. 

Nunez Rodriguez’s interest in neuroendocrine neoplasms led to multiple publications during his training. This project will reflect his group's strategic objective of personalized care for patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms. With the mentorship of Dr. Singh, and in collaboration with Dr. Iacovos Michael and Dr. Hon Leong, they will evaluate the potential synergism of alpha-particle PRRT and immunotherapy in PDXovo preclinical models.

“As co-director of the Susan Leslie Clinic for Neuroendocrine Tumors, I am thrilled to be able to mentor and collaborate with Dr. Nunez Rodriguez,” said Dr. Singh. “Dr. Nunez Rodriguez has already collaborated with members of our team and obtained funding to launch a number of important initiatives. This grant's focus is on advancing personalized treatment for neuroendocrine patients, which is one of our primary objectives.” 

Nunez Rodriguez’s hypothesis is that the combination of alpha-particle PRRT and immunotherapy will increase antitumor activity in PDXovo preclinical models of NENs.

NANETS is proud to support Dr. Nunez Rodriguez in this project in the area of theranostics, which was developed to push forward the boundaries of molecularly targeted radionuclide therapy and diagnostics for patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

The NTIG award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) and supported by an educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

NANETS is grateful to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, whose generous investment and support of this annual research grant will make a difference in the NET medical community and the patients we serve. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Abhay Singh, MD, MPH
Cleveland Clinic

NCIS                                        

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society congratulates Abhay Singh, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, as the 2023 recipient of NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS). Dr. Singh was awarded this scholarship for his proposal: A Study of the Evolution of Radio Peptide and Cytotoxic Therapy-related Hematopoietic Molecular Signatures and Role in Predicting Resultant Hematological Toxicity.

Dr. Singh’s goal is to accelerate our understanding regarding radio-ligand therapies and associated hematological toxicities, and implement these discoveries into clinical care for NET patients. Since joining Cleveland Clinic in August 2021, he has built a robust clinical and research practice focused on the care of cancer survivors at risk for developing myeloid neoplasms (MN). He plans to further build multi-disciplinary collaborations to study radioligands, toxicities and associations with clonal-hematopoiesis-of-indeterminate-potential (CHIP). CHIP is a mutational signature observed in the blood and bone marrow that increases risk for subsequent hematological-toxicity.

Dr. Renuka Iyer, his mentor, is a nationally known expert in NET and director of NET BioBank. Dr. Singh became interested in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) during his first rotation as a first-year hematology-oncology fellow at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2018. Under Dr. Renuka Iyer’s leadership, Roswell Park was one of the first centers to offer the novel treatment of peptide-receptor-radionuclide-therapy (PRRT).

After completing his fellowship in 2021, he joined the leukemia faculty at the Cleveland Clinic (CCF) where there is one of the nation’s very few CHIP clinics. At CCF, he is the head of the CHIP/CCUS clinic and serves as the principal-investigator on the 10-year CHIP study. In addition, he serves as a guide to major cancer centers to help initiate their ‘CHIP/CCUS clinic.’

Dr. Singh hypothesizes that CHIP augmentation/evolutionary trajectories can be traced while on TEM and PRRT and these will be distinct to each exposure. Deeper investigation into the clinical utility of monitoring CHIP lesions to predict the risk of hematological toxicity is an unmet need for our NET patients.

NANETS is pleased to support Dr. Singh’s work on this research proposal. The NCIS award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible by NANETS. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.

 


Iacovos Michael, PhD
Sunnybrook Research institute and University of Toronto

BTSI

The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) congratulates Iacovos Michael, PhD, Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute and Assistant Professor at University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, as the 2023 recipient of NANETS’ Basic/Translational Science Investigator Award (BTSI). Dr. Michael was awarded this scholarship for his proposal: Development of MicroRNA-based Liquid Biopsies for Small-bowel NETs.

Dr. Iacovos Michael joined the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as a Scientist after completing his postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Douglas Hanahan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Dr. Simron Singh, his mentor, played an instrumental role in the recruitment of Dr. Michael to the Sunnybrook Institute.

“One of our key priorities is to assess the potential of miRNAs as biomarkers used in liquid biopsies for NETs, which is the focus of this grant,” said Dr. Singh. “I am thrilled to be mentoring Dr. Michael in this area. This grant may be the beginning of the development of a larger career for Dr. Michael in translational science and bench-to-bedside research.”

The proposed project covers two important research areas: to identify new pathways involved in the progression of NETs and to evaluate miRNAs as biomarkers for NET liquid biopsies. The project will take advantage of the established Biobank at Sunnybrook and the biospecimens available from the two clinical trials, STOPNET and NET-RETREAT, led by Dr. Simron Singh. Dr. Michael, in collaboration with Dr. Hon Leong, Dr. Neil Renwick, and Dr. Kathrin Tyryshkin, will evaluate the role of a set of miRNAs for diagnosing and monitoring small-bowel NETs. Overall, this project is expected to provide novel insights into the role of miRNAs as drivers and biomarkers for small-bowel NETs and instigate future projects in the Michael lab.

The BTSI award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). The purpose of the BTSI Award is to encourage scientists at the end of their fellowship who have secured a faculty appointment or scientists beginning their faculty appointment to pursue research focused on neuroendocrine tumors.

NANETS is grateful to NETRF, whose tremendous investment and support of this annual research grant have made a difference in the NET medical community and the patients we serve. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipients.


2021

J. Barton Rose, III, MD
University of Alabama
BTSI
 

NANETS congratulates J. Barton Rose, III, MD, as the recipient of the 2021 NANETS Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) for his research, "Molecular influences of racial disparities in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors." Dr. Rose will be mentored by Clayton Yates, PhD, Director of Research Center at Minority Institution, Tuskegee University. 

The BTSI award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). NANETS is grateful to NETRF, whose tremendous investment and support of this annual research grant have made a difference in the NET medical community and the patients we serve. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Jessica Maxwell, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS)

NANETS congratulates Jessice Maxwell, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer as the recipient of the NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS). The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Maxwell received the scholarship for her proposal, "Characterization of the small bowel neuroendocrine tumor immune environment." Dr. Maxwell's mentorship team includes Matthew Katz, MD, Jeffrey H. Lee, MD, MPH, FASGE, FACG, AGAF, and Dr. Elizabeth Grubbs, MD (UTMDACC Surgery), James Yao, MD, and Daniel Halperin, MD (UTMDACC Medical Oncology), Kenna Shaw, PhD (UTMDACC Cancer Genomics), Ignacio Wistuba, MD (UTMDACC Translational Pathology) and immediate past NANETS president, James Howe, MD (U. Iowa Surgery). 

NCIS is made possible by the support of Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, a long-time supporter of NANETS’ educational events and research. NCIS is a two-year, $100,000 award. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


2020

Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD
University of Utah, Division of Oncology
Theranostics

NANETS congratulates Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD of the University of Utah as the NANETS 2020 Theranostics Investigator Scholarship (NTIG) award recipient. The NTIG is intended to push forward the boundaries of molecularly targeted radionuclide therapy and diagnostics for patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Soares received the scholarship for her proposal, “The Role of HDAC Inhibitors in Combination to PRRT in NET Xenografts.” Dr. Soares will be mentored by Kathryn Morton, MD, Professor of Radiology at the University of Utah.

NTIG is made possible by the support of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a long-time supporter of NANETS’ educational events and research. NTIG is a two-year, $100,000 award. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Brendan Finnerty, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine
NCIS

 

NANETS congratulates Brendan Finnerty, MD of Weill Cornell Medicine as the NANETS 2020 Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS) award recipient. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.  

Dr. Finnerty received the scholarship for his proposal, "Developing a Predictive Molecular Model for Cytologic Detection of Aggressive Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Multi-Institutional Study." Dr. Finnerty will be mentored by Dr. Thomas Fahey, III, Chief of Endocrine and Minimally Invasive Surgery and Professor of Surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medicine.

The NCIS grant is a two-year, $100,000 award funded through the generous support of Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, who has been a funding partner of NANETS since the research grant program’s inception in 2009. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Xavier Keutgen, MD
University of Chicago
BTSI
 

NANETS congratulates Xavier Keutgen, MD of the University of Chicago Medical Center as the recipient of the 2020 NANETS Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) for his research, "Deciphering and Potentiating Intrinsic Radiosensitivity of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors” (PanNETs). Dr. Keutgen will be mentored by Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, Chair of the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago, and Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research, University of Chicago.

The BTSI award is a two-year, $100,000 grant made possible through generous support from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). NANETS is grateful to NETRF, whose tremendous investment and support of this annual research grant have made a difference in the NET medical community and the patients we serve. The NANETS Scientific Review & Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


2019

Sarbajit Mukherjee, MD, MS
Roswell Park

Comprehensive Cancer Center
NCIS

NANETS congratulates Sarbajit Mukherjee, MD, MS of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, as the NANETS 2019 Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS) Award recipient. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Mukherjee received the grant for his proposal on Circulating Tumor DNA (Ct DNA) as a Biomarker in High-Grade Neuroendocrine Tumor.

The goal of this research will use patients’ blood samples to identify those genetic alterations in the circulating tumor DNA (Ct DNA) which may allow for the development of personalized treatments for this rare disease. The proposed study will collect serial blood samples from patients and monitor their Ct DNA over time. Analysis of that data will provide insight into the biology of disease evolution which may help Dr. Mukherjee build an optimal sequence of targeted therapeutic interventions. It will also inform whether Ct DNA can predict response to therapy in high-grade GEP-NETs.

IPSEN is proud to sponsor the continuation of Dr. Gomez-Panzani's work on behalf of NET patients through this Clinical Investigator Scholarship. IPSEN Biopharmaceuticals supports this research scholarship in the form of a $100,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer over the course of the two year grant period. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Po Hien Ear, PhD
University of Iowa

BTSI Grant

NANETS congratulates Po Hien Ear, PhD, of the University of Iowa, as the NANETS 2019 Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Award recipient.

Dr. Ear received the grant for her proposal on Development of in vitro pre-clinical models for small bowel neuroendocrine tumor drug testing.

Dr. Ear's current capabilities support a promising future in the field of NET research. Dr. Ear has a unique background suited for discovering novel therapeutic agents for NETs because she has a profound understanding of cell cycle regulation and large scale-data analysis/integration. Her work has been published in numerous prestigious journals. She has 14 publications (five additional manuscripts in preparation) and three patents.

Dr. Ear’s research will utilize her expertise in proteomics and metabolomics to the field of neuroendocrine tumors. Bridging these fields will allow for the identification of new therapies for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and to better understand their mechanism of action.

The Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Grant is funded by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). The $100,000 BTSI Grant is administered over the course of two years. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process and independently selects the recipient.


2018

Irene Min, PhD
Weill Cornell Medical College
Young Investigator Grant

NANETS congratulates Irene Min, PhD of Weill Cornell Medical College as the NANETS 2018 Young Investigator (YI) Award recipient.

Dr. Min received the grant for her proposal Analysis of Immune Environment for Targeting Metastatic Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. The goal of this study is to elucidate the tumor-immune networks in localized and metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) and to determine the effect of macrophage inhibitors on enhancing T cell proliferation in metastatic PNET mouse model.

The Young Investigator (YI) Grant is funded by Novartis International AG, a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel Switzerland. The $50,000 Young Investigator (YI) Grant is administered over the course of one year. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Odette Cancer Center
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
NCIS Grant

NANETS congratulates Julie Hallet, MD, MSc, FRCSC, of Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, as the 2018 NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship (NCIS) recipient. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.

The 2018 recipient, Dr. Julie Hallet, received this grant for her proposal An Evaluation of Patient Reported Outcomes, Patterns of Symptoms Severity, and Survival for Neuroendocrine Tumors. The focus of her program in health services population-based research is to examine process, patterns of care, and outcomes for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in order to improve care by identifying and establishing enablers to timely diagnosis and effective management.

She has conducted several projects documenting the epidemiology of NETs and exploring possible sources of care and outcome disparities. Using this previous work as background, support from the NCIS grant will allow her to further her research into process of care of NETs.

IPSEN is proud to sponsor the continuation of Edda’s work on behalf of NET patients through this Clinical Investigator Scholarship. IPSEN Biopharmaceuticals supports this research scholarship in the form of a $50,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer over the course of the one year grant period. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


University of Alabama at Birmingham
School of Medicine
BTSI Grant

NANETS congratulates Renata Jaskula-Sztul, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, as the NANETS 2018 Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Award recipient.

Dr. Jaskula-Sztul received this grant for her proposal, Novel Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor (PanNET) Targeted Therapy. She has published more than 40 papers and, as a co-investigator, she has received funding for five research grants on targeted drug delivery to neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Jaskula-Sztul’s current project on testing antibody-drug conjugates as a potential drug for NET will generate new and exciting information that will form the foundation for future grants.

The Basic/Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Grant is funded by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). The $100,000 BTSI Grant is administered over the course of two years. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


University of California San Francisco
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
NTIG Grant

NANETS congratulates Thomas Hope, MD, of the University of California San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, as the 2018 NANETS' Theragnostics Investigator Grant (NTIG) recipient. The NTIG is intended to push forward the boundaries of molecularly targeted radionuclide therapy and diagnostics for patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

The 2018 recipient, Dr. Thomas Hope, received this grant for his proposal Optimization of Intra-Arterial Y90-DOTATOC PRRT. He will use the funds to continue his work with Y90-DOTATOC using intra-arterial administration, which is an important therapeutic route for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)-Optimization of Intra-Arterial Y90-DOTATOC PRRT. This grant will also provide significant insight into the issues related to receptor saturation, which is not a well-addressed limitation to improving PRRT treatment.

Dr. Hope is an Associate Professor in Residence in the Abdominal Imaging and Nuclear Medicine sections at UCSF and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has published 60 peer-reviewed articles, including 21 first author publications.

Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) is proud to sponsor this research scholarship in the form of a $100,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer over the course of the two year grant period. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


2017

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
NCIS Grant

NANETS congratulates Etay Ziv, MD, PhD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as the 2017 NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship recipient. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.

The 2017 recipient, Dr. Etay Ziv, seeks to improve the outcome of patients undergoing liver directed therapy of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor liver metastases. Dr. Ziv will evaluate whether the molecular biomarker, DAXX mutation, is a predictor of poor response to liver-directed therapy. This work has the potential to identify which patients will most likely benefit from treatment and to provide insight into why patients may or may not respond to treatment.

IPSEN is proud to sponsor the continuation of Edda’s work on behalf of NET patients through this Clinical Investigator Scholarship. IPSEN Biopharmaceuticals supports this research scholarship in the form of a $100,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer over the course of the two year grant period. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
BTSI Grant

NANETS congratulates Brian Untch, MD of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as the NANETS 2017 Basic Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Award recipient.

Dr. Untch proposed to explore new approaches for treating neuroendocrine cancers. The award will fund Dr. Untch’s work assessing the effectiveness of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), which targets somatostatin receptors in mouse models of neuroendocrine cancer. Somatostatin receptor ligands such as DOTA-TATE have been established as effective tools for detection of neuroendocrine tumors such as those found in pancreatic and gut cancers. However, these detection agents are now also being considered for their potential as treatments. This new field of “theragnostics” holds promise as an approach that may be combined with other classes of drugs to more effectively treat neuroendocrine cancers. Indeed, Dr. Untch’s research includes assessing the combined effects of PRRT and other promising chemotherapeutic approaches. The potential of these studies to have an impact on neuroendocrine cancer treatment, together with the strength of Dr. Untch’s investigator/mentor team and institution, convinced NANETS that this was the project to support with this year’s award.

The BTSI is sponsored by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) and is made possible by the generous support of the Margie and Robert Peterson Foundation. The BTSI is awarded to a NANETS member in their first five years of faculty appointment and is meant to encourage the pursuit of basic or translational research with a focus on neuroendocrine tumors. The BTSI is a grant award of $100,000 to be distributed over the two year grant award cycle.


2016

University of Texas
MD Anderson Cancer Center
NCIS Grant

NANETS congratulates Claudius Conrad, MD, PhD of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as the 2016 NANETS Clinical Investigator Scholarship recipient. The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors. The 2016 recipient, Dr. Claudius Conrad will continue his focus on the treatment of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and neuroendocrine liver metastasis.

IPSEN is proud to sponsor the continuation of Edda’s work on behalf of NET patients through this Clinical Investigator Scholarship. IPSEN Biopharmaceuticals supports this research scholarship in the form of a $100,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer over the course of the two year grant period. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
BTSI Grant

NANETS congratulates Christopher M. Heaphy, PhD of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as the NANETS 2016 Basic Translational Science Investigator (BTSI) Award recipient. The BTSI is sponsored by the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) and is made possible by the generous support of the Margie and Robert Peterson Foundation. The BTSI is awarded to a NANETS member in their first five years of faculty appointment and is meant to encourage the pursuit of basic or translational research with a focus on neuroendocrine tumors. The BTSI is a grant award of $100,000 to be distributed over the two-year grant award cycle. Dr. Heaphy plans to utilize the BTSI award to invest in his translational research to further the understanding of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor biology.


2015

MD Anderson Cancer Center
NCIS Grant

The NCIS award focuses on supporting a clinical project as well as the investigator's potential to make future clinical contributions to the neuroendocrine tumor field. Dr. Dasari is an ideal candidate and his research proposal and objectives show great potential. This award is in honor of Edda Gomez-Panzani, MD for her dedication and work on behalf of patients living with neuroendocrine tumors.

In discussing his plan, Dr. Dasari said, “Neuroendocrine tumors, NETs, are lethal when advanced with limited treatment options, in large part due to lack of adequate understanding of the underlying molecular aberrations. Overwhelming evidence point towards dysregulation of the retinoblastoma pathway (and thus cyclin-dependent kinases, 4,6 CDK 4/6) in the majority of foregut NETs. Our goal in the current study is to demonstrate activity of CDK 4/6 inhibitors in foregut NETs by: 1) conducting pharmacodynamic (PD) and correlative studies on paired biopsies from a clinical trial of patients with foregut NETs treated with an oral CDK 4/6 inhibitor, 2) determining activity of mTOR inhibitor with an oral CDK 4/6 inhibitor in xenograft models of NETs."

IPSEN is proud to sponsor the continuation of Edda’s work on behalf of NET patients through this Clinical Investigator Scholarship. IPSEN Biopharmaceuticals supports this research scholarship in the form of a $50,000 grant directed to NANETS to administer. The NANETS Research Committee establishes the award criteria, reviews process, and independently selects the recipient.


Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Young Investigator Grant

NANETS congratulates Bryson William Katona as the 2015 Young Investigator grant recipient for his work on ER stress and the unfolded protein response in neuroendocrine tumor proliferation.

Despite many recent advances in the field of neuroendocrine tumors, there still remains a critical need to develop novel therapeutic approaches to better treat these tumors. Within the distinct genetic landscape of neuroendocrine tumors, the focus of my project is to better understand the role of ER stress and the unfolded protein response in neuroendocrine tumor proliferation and resistance to chemotherapy. The ultimate goal of this project will be to develop novel methods to selectively target ER stress pathways to improve current treatment paradigms for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Katona conducts his research in a cancer biology lab focusing on menin. He was awarded a $50,000 grant, sponsored by Novartis Oncology and NANETS, to pursue basic science/translational research focused on neuroendocrine tumors.


2014

University Hospitals
Young Investigator Grant

Jennifer Eads, MD, is an Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

She is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

Dr. Eads’ special interests include gastrointestinal oncology including cancers of the esophagus and stomach, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts and gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors. She joined the UH Cleveland Medical Center staff in 2009.

Dr. Eads’ research interests include understanding the role of DNA repair in neuroendocrine tumors and esophageal cancers. She is currently the Principal Investigator on several clinical trials related to gastrointestinal malignancies including esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder and bile duct cancer and multiple types of neuroendocrine tumors.


2013

University of California
San Fransisco
NCIS Grant

NANETS congratulates NCIS recipient Katherine VanLoon, MD, MPH. She plans to use the robust database available from the NCCN’s multi-institutional Neuroendocrine Tumor Outcomes Project to report recurrence rates, time to tumor recurrence, and survival for patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) who undergo surgical resection with curative intent.

Because NCCN guidelines for surveillance imaging following resection are vague and reflect lack of standardization, I will describe the surveillance practices of the member institutions for patients who undergo complete surg ical resection of gastroenteropancreatic NETs. This analysis will attempt to identify patient subgroups at particularly high risk of recurrence following surgical resection of gastroenteropancreatic NETs.


University of Cincinnati
School of Medicine
Young Investigator Grant

NANETS congratulates Hala Elnakat Thomas as the 2013 Young Investigator Grant Recipient for her work on mTOR inhibition in the treatment of pNETs.

Because the allosteric inhibitor of the mammalian Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR), everolimus (RAD001), has already shown efficacy in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs), it is compelling to assess in this indication, the ability of the next-generation mTOR inhibitors to impede tumor progression. Toward this end, BEZ235 a dual phosphatidylinositide-3OH kinase (PI3K)/mTOR inhibitor is currently being evaluated as a single agent in a number of phase I/II clinical trials for treatment of patients with pNETs either prior to or after failure of allosteric mTOR inhibitors. Based on my previous work, I predict that a major benefit of treating pNETs with RAD001 in combination with BEZ235 will be a synergistic inhibition of mTOR at lower doses of each drug, which will increase specificity while decreasing toxicity. The preclinical data generated from this award will not only improve our molecular and mechanistic understanding of the drug combination but will more importantly potentially improve the clinical outcome for pNET patients treated with RAD001 and BEZ235 in combination in lieu of either drug as a single agent.


2012

University of Colorado
School of Medicine
Early Career Development Grant

On behalf of The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce the selection of Lauren Fishbein, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the 2012 Early Career Development award in the amount of $50,000.

Her research proposal is titled “Somatic Mutations in Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas” and proposes to use cutting edge “next generation” sequencing techniques to identify somatic mutations which contribute to tumorigenesis or malignant transformation.
Dr. Fishebein says "Our hope is to determine if distinct patterns of somatic mutations are associated with different inherited mutations. Since pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are tumors associated with high morbidity and mortality with limited treatments for recurrent or metastatic disease, it is critical to understand tumorigenesis in order to identify novel molecular markers for future therapeutic targets."

This award is supported by Novartis with the goal to improve patient outcomes in NETs. This collaborative partnership and the assistance of Novartis in funding research will be a critical component of improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization.


2011

The Hospital for Sick Kids (SickKids)
Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Tae-Hee Kim, PhD! His research proposal "Transcriptional regulation of intestinal secretory cell differentiation through Atoh1 and Tcf4" will address the need to better understand the cells from which intestinal neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors originate to help in the development of targeted therapies.
On behalf of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce his selection as the recipient of one of our 2011 Early Career Development grants in the amount of $50,000. Following is Dr. Kim’s summary of his project:

"The treatment and cure of neuroendocrine tumors require an accurate and deep understanding of the molecular processes that govern normal endocrine cell behavior. These cells originate in intestinal crypt stem cells and my research program focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of secretory (endocrine) cell differentiation. In this proposal, I emphasize the roles of two important proteins, Atoh1 and Tcf4. These proteins are transcription factors, i.e., proteins that control hundreds of other genes, and I propose to study how these proteins do so. My work will, therefore, help advance understanding of fundamental mechanisms and therapeutic targets in neuroendocrine tumors.”
Due to the current shortage of young scientists focused on the clinical investigation of neuroendocrine tumors, we created this grant to encourage physicians, at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment, to pursue clinical or translational research in this field. Dr. Kim’s application was well written and his research plan has the capability of producing results that would make significant contributions to NET research and lead to a productive career in neuroendocrine tumors."

In addition, we want to acknowledge Novartis Oncology for funding this grant. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization. This collaborative partnership and their assistance in funding research will continue to make a positive impact in improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.


UT Southwestern Medical Center
Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Karine Pozo, PhD, MSc. On behalf of The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce the selection of Karine Pozo, PhD, as the recipient of one of the 2011 Early Career Development awards in the amount of $50,000.

Her research proposal, entitled “Identification of new RET-associated signaling mechanisms in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)” is focusing on the protein kinase, cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), and its activating cofactor, p25 which has recently been implicated in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) oncogenesis and proliferation.
Dr. Pozo says, “The aim of this study is to delineate the role of p25/Cdk5 in the activation of RET signaling cascade and subsequent mechanisms leading to MTC tumorigenesis. This work will lead to the identification of novel targets on which to base the development of treatments for MTC."

This award is supported by Ipsen with the goal to improve patient outcomes in NETs. This collaborative partnership and the assistance of Ipsen in funding research will be a critical component of improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization.


2010

Hadassah Medical Center
Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Haggi Mazeh, MD! His research proposal "The Role of Notch 1, 2 and 3 in Neuroendocrine Tumors” will address the need for development of other forms of therapy for NET cancers by characterizing the roles of the Notch isoforms in regulating NE cancer cell growth and hormone secretion.

On behalf of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce his selection as the recipient of one of our 2010 Young Investigator grants in the amount of $50,000. Following is Dr. Mazeh's summary of his project:

"It has previously been shown that Notch 1 markedly suppresses NE tumor cell growth and hormone production. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Notch 2 & 3 in regulating NE cancer proliferation and hormone secretion in vitro. Furthermore, the affects of Notch 2 & 3 activation on NE cancer progression and hormone production in vivo will be determined. "
Due to the current shortage of young scientists focused on the clinical investigation of neuroendocrine tumors, we created this grant to encourage physicians, at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment, to pursue clinical or translational research in this field. Dr. Mazeh's application was well written and his research plan has the capability of producing results that would make significant contributions to NET research and lead to a productive career in neuroendocrine tumors.

In addition, we want to acknowledge the Novarits Oncology for funding this grant. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization. This collaborative partnership and their assistance in funding research will continue to make a positive impact in improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.

Dr. Mazeh will be presenting developments from this research project at the NANETS annual meeting in 2011.


Cancer Care Northwest
Young Investigator Grant

Congratulations to Mei Dong, MD, PhD. On behalf of The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce the selection of Mei Dong, MD, PhD as the recipient of one of the 2010 Young Investigator awards in the amount of $50,000.

Her research proposal, entitled “Role of Hedgehog Pathway in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumorigenesis" is focusing on the well-known premise that a significant amount of patients with NETs may have harbored the slow-growing lesions since a very young age, which suggests it could result from alterations of pathways involved in development. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling has been found to be important in embryonic patterning, stem cell maintenance and tissue repair; and is normally silenced in most mature adult tissue. This innovative strategy will investigate this signaling pathway as a target in the tumorigenesis of NETs and their development.

"The goal of the proposed project is to study the role of Hedgehog signaling pathway in neuroendocrine tumorigenesis and its potential as a therapeutic target,” said Dr. Dong.

More broadly, the Young Investigator Award helps address a current shortage of young scientists focused on the investigation of neuroendocrine tumors and is open to investigators at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment.

This award is supported by Ipsen with the goal to improve patient outcomes in NETs. This collaborative partnership and the assistance of Ipsen in funding research will be a critical component of improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.

Dr. Dong will be presenting developments from this research project at the NANETS annual meeting in 2011.


2009

University of Florida Health
Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Hans Ghayee! His research proposal "mTOR Inhibitors Effect on Growth & Catecholalmine Synthesis of Human Pheochromocytoma Cells" is a distinctive concept of developing a new pheochromocytoma cell line and of testing new agents in that cell line which has the potential of being highly relevant to the field.

On behalf of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS) it is a pleasure to announce his selection as the recipient of our first Young Investigator grant in the amount of $50,000. Following is Dr. Gahyee summary of his project:

"Our group is interested in studying tumors called pheochromocytoma that arise from the adrenal medulla. These tumors secrete catecholamines and affected patients may present with hypertension or palpitations and can have devastating complications resulting in cardiovascular collapse. We are interested in identifying compounds which might inhibit pheochromocytoma cell proliferation or catecholamine production. One such candidate class of compounds are called mTOR inhibitors. We hope to further investigate whether hypersecretion of catecholamines would be controlled with mTOR inhibitors. A human pheochromocytoma cell line has been generated in our laboratory and affords us an opportunity to study the effects of mTOR inhibitors and other drugs on human pheochromocytoma cells which will give us an insight for future therapeutic targets."

Due to the current shortage of young scientists focused on the clinical investigation of neuroendocrine tumors, we created this grant to encourage physicians, at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment, to pursue clinical research in this field. Dr. Ghayee's application was well written and his research plan has the capability of producing results that would make significant contributions to NET research and lead to a productive career in neuroendocrine tumors.

In addition, we want to acknowledge the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation for funding this grant. Their continued support and commitment to assist NANETS in fulfilling our mission is critical to the success of the NANETS organization. This collaborative partnership and their assistance in funding research will continue to make a positive impact in improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.

Dr. Ghayee will be presenting developments from this research project at the NANETS annual meeting in 2010.


Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center
Young Investigator Grant

On behalf of The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS), it is a pleasure to announce the selection of Diane Reidy-Lagunes, M.D., M.S. as the recipient a Young Investigator award in the amount of $50,000. Her research proposal, entitled “A Novel Therapeutic Strategy to Identify the Pathways Driving Neuroendocrine Tumors & Improve Our Treatments: From Mouse Models to Human Patients” describes an innovative, collaborative strategy that brings together clinical and basic researchers to uncover and therapeutically target the pathways driving neuroendocrine tumor (NET) development.

“The project will help address current knowledge gaps by integrating the analysis of human NET samples with appropriate mouse models of NET cancer. Of particular interest is Dr. Reidy-Lagunes’ approach of testing specific, novel targeted therapies in the mouse model to speed their path to the clinic. “We will move back and forth between human and animal studies, which will continuously cross-inform each other, with the ultimate goal of rapidly translating the knowledge we gain into a novel and effective treatments for this disease,” said Dr. Reidy.

More broadly, the Young Investigator Award helps address a current shortage of young scientists focused on the investigation of neuroendocrine tumors and is open to investigators at the end of their fellowship or beginning of their faculty appointment. The award was supported by The NET Alliance, a long-term commitment by Novartis Oncology, with the goal of improving patient outcomes in NETs. This collaborative partnership and the assistance of Novartis in funding research will be a critical component of improving the lives of people with carcinoid/NET cancers.

Dr. Reidy-Lagunes will be presenting developments from this research project at the NANETS annual meeting in 2010.