Grant Winners

Grant Winners


The following scientists and clinicians are winners of the Chanel Endowment to Fund Survivorship Research and the Population Sciences Research Program grants.

Chanel Endowment to Fund Survivorship Research

An endowment from Chanel provides funding for well-designed, novel clinical and basic studies focused on medical aspects of cancer survivors. All applications are peer-reviewed for outstanding scientific merit by key leadership.


David Faleck, MD | Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Service

Project Title: Long Term Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Immune Checkpoint Blockade: Clinical and Immunologic Characterization of Chronic Immune-Related Enterocolitis

This study will aim to: (1) determine the incidence, clinical risk factors for, and biomarkers that predict chronic immunotherapy-related enterocolitis, and (2) identify systemic and local tissue immune pathways active in irEC and explore associations with development of chronic toxicity. The central hypothesis is that chronic irEC results from distinct systemic and tissue immune pathway activation downstream of identifiable risk factors and that better characterization of chronic irEC will allow for improved long-term outcomes for patients. Evidence for distinct clinical and biologic factors that drive chronic irAE will provide focus and supportive preliminary data for subsequent interventional studies to determine and mitigate the effects of irEC on long-term quality of life in cancer survivors.


Kevin Liou, MD, Integrative Medicine Service

Project Title: Nocturia in Prostate Cancer Survivors - Acupuncture Pilot Study (NOCTURNAL)

Nocturia is a prevalent, disruptive symptom that impairs quality of life in prostate cancer survivors. Unfortunately, optimal treatments for nocturia are lacking. The goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary effects of acupuncture for nocturia and co-morbid symptoms in prostate cancer survivors.


Fumiko Chino, MD, Radiation Oncology

Project Title: “Running on Empty”: Financial Literacy, Financial Capacity and Enduring Financial Toxicity in Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Financial toxicity, the economic hardship that results from cancer treatment, has been reported at higher rates among young adult cancer survivors than older survivors.Financial toxicity can result in negative effects on survivors’ quality of life, including increased risk for bankruptcy, asset depletion, medical debt, and high levels of finance-related anxiety, worry, and stress. This study aims to measure financial toxicity in young adult cancer survivors while also assessing their financial capability, financial health literacy, and the impact of financial toxicity on survivorship health services utilization.

Jessica Scott, PhD, Department of Medicine

Project Title: The MSK Digital Health Cohort (MSK-DHC): A Pan-Cancer Survivorship Study

A comprehensive map of individual physical activity, functional performance, and demographic, and clinical data is not available in any pan-cancer population. The MSK-DHC will integrate previously unavailable, novel raw high dimensional digital health data with demographic and clinical data to establish an unparalleled infrastructure with enormous discovery and translational value related to survivorship research and clinical care.


Talya Salz, PhD, Epidemiology-Biostatistics

Project Title: Chronic opioid therapy and opioid-related harms among older cancer survivors

Cancer survivors may have greater pain management needs, experience greater health risks, and have less coordinated care than those who have never had cancer. This study uses linked SEER-Medicare data to characterize opioid use and opioid-related harms among older cancer survivors.

Shari Goldfarb, MD, Department of Medicine

Project Title: Understanding Fertility Decisions and Outcomes of Young Breast Cancer Survivors

The overall objectives of this study are to better understand fertility decisions made by young women with breast cancer, describe the outcomes for women who attempt egg/embryo freezing and identify factors that influence decisions in order to better counsel and help our young breast cancer survivors in the future. This study will help us better understand the success rate of fertility preservation in women with breast cancer and how breast cancer survivors attempt to build a family after treatment. We will also explore decisions made by young women with breast cancer about delaying or interrupting endocrine therapy for pregnancy and family building.


Helena Furberg-Barnes, MSPH, PhD, Epidemiology-Biostatistics

Project Title: Body composition and the obesity paradox in renal cell carcinoma

Obesity is a risk factor for getting kidney cancer but patients with high BMI survive longer than those who have normal BMI. Reasons for this “obesity paradox” are unknown. In this study we are refining BMI into specific body composition variables (like muscle and amount of fat) and examining how patient body composition is associated with tumor features, survival and tumor genomics.

Andrea Barrio, MD, FACS, Department of Surgery

Project Title: A Prospective Surveillance Program for Assessment and Treatment of Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema after Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

This study will prospectively determine the incidence of upper extremity lymphedema after axillary lymph node dissection using rigorous measurement protocols. We will also evaluate the role of inflammatory biomarkers, as well as traditional patient and treatment factors, in the pathogenesis of lymphedema. Finally we will investigate the association between patient-reported symptoms of lymphedema and measured lymphedema to define an optimal threshold for intervention.


Elizabeth Comen, MD, Department of Medicine

Project Title: CYP2D6 phenotype, tamoxifen treatment and risk of contralateral breast cancer in the WECARE study population

The objective of this study is to fully characterize the CYP2D6 phenotype and determine its impact on the association between tamoxifen and risk of CBC in the WECARE study population. This will provide crucial clinical information and a significant step toward developing personalized breast cancer treatment and surveillance strategies geared toward reducing the incidence of CBC.

Anthony F. Yu, MD, Cardiology Service, Department of Medicine

Project Title: A Phase 2 Trial of Carvedilol for the Prevention of Trastuzumab Induced Cardiac Dysfunction among Women with HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Using Myocardial Strain Imaging for Early Risk Stratification

This intervention trial is designed to investigate the effectiveness of carvedilol therapy at preventing the development of cardiotoxicity in breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab who are identified as being at risk because of subclinical LV dysfunction by 2D speckle tracking, a novel echocardiographic modality.

Danielle Novetsky Friedman, MD, Department of Pediatrics

Project Title: Assessing Insulin Sensitivity and Diabetes Mellitus Risk in Neuroblastoma Survivors Treated with Abdominal Irradiation: A Pilot Study

This pilot study uses a single-institutional cohort of neuroblastoma survivors to ascertain mechanisms leading to diabetes mellitus in this high-risk population.


Darren R. Feldman, MD, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Department of Medicine

Project Title: Investigation into the Mechanism of Cisplatin-Induced Cardiovascular Toxicity: A Study of Acute Changes in Endothelial Function Following Cisplatin-Based Chemotherapy in Men with Germ Cell Tumors (GCT)

This is a pilot longitudinal study testing changes in endothelial function among male germ cell tumor patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy or surgery alone.

Shrujal S. Baxi, MD, MPH, Head and Neck Oncology Service, Department of Medicine

Project Title: Competing Causes of Mortality in Survivors of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This study assesses long-term mortality rates and identifies predisposing risk factors for competing causes of mortality in survivors of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.


Victoria Blinder, MD, MSc, Breast Cancer Medicine Service, Department of Medicine

Project Title: Ethnic Differences in the Impact of Breast Cancer on Employment Status, Financial Situation, and Quality of Life

This matched cohort study aims to identify and describe ethnic differences in employment status, financial situation, and quality of life after treatment for breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of developing interventions that may significantly improve the lives of breast cancer survivors.

Elizabeth Ryan, PhD, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Project Title: Rehabilitation of Chemobrain in Breast Cancer Survivors

This study will investigate whether breast cancer survivors with demonstrated cognitive difficulties who have received chemotherapy can improve cognitive side effects through use of a five-week rehabilitation software training program.


Tim Ahles, PhD, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Project Title: Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Change and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Damage in Breast Cancer Survivors

The primary objective of this project is to obtain preliminary data regarding the association between DNA damage associated with chemotherapy and cognitive dysfunction in breast cancer survivors.

Kevin Oeffinger, MD, Department of Pediatrics

Project Title: Abdominal Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Women Who Survived Leukemia Following Total Body Irradiation and Stem Cell Transplant

The long-term objective of the study is to reduce risk and prevent the development of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, and premature cardiovascular disease in women who were treated with total body irradiation (TBI) followed by an allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplant. If the amount of visceral adipose tissue is increased in women who were treated with TBI, and if this outcome is associated with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia (as it in the general population), then targeted interventions will be designed to reduce that risk.

David Weinstock, MD, Bone Marrow Transplant Service, Infectious Diseases Service, Department of Medicine

Project Title: Assaying Risk for Secondary Leukemia Among Women Treated for Breast Cancer

This study proposes to evaluate a subset of women who develop acute myelogenous leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome (t-AML) after treatment for breast cancer to determine if they have identifiable defects in double-strand break repair that confer an increased predisposition to leukemogenesis. t-AML is believed to result from the misrepair of DNA double-strand breaks introduced by clastogenic chemotherapy and radiation.

Population Sciences Research Program

The Population Sciences Research Program (PSRP) is designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research in population science. Population science research can impact public health in general terms. Cancer-related topics can include research on prevention strategies, risk factors, and causes. Other studies may focus on cancer care, the well-being of individuals after a cancer diagnosis, and cancer health policy.

Every year, the PSRP supports population science research at MSK through a National Cancer Institute core grant. The PSRP backs projects co-lead by a population scientist and an expert in a complementary discipline. Prior awardees include:


Monika Laszkowska, MD, MS and Ann Zauber, PhD

Project Title: The Cost-Effectiveness of Screening and Surveillance of Precursor Gastric Lesions in Individuals with a Family History of Gastric Cancer

Lisa Carter-Harris, PhD, APRN, ANP-C, FAAN and Tali Amir, MD

Project Title: Leveraging Mammography to Identify and Engage Women at Risk for Lung Cancer in Lung Cancer Screening

Robert Daly, MD, MBA; Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE and Katherine Panageas, DrPH

Project Title: Connected Care: Remote monitoring after hospital discharge

Jonine Lisa Bernstein, PhD MS, AB; Janice S. Sung, MD and Krishna Juluru, MD

Project Title: Background Parenchymal Enhancement in Contrast-Enhanced Digital Mammography: A Pilot Study of a Promising Imaging Biomarker of Breast Cancer Risk


Lisa Diamond, MD, MPH and  Peter D. Stetson, MD, MA

Project Title: Improving Cancer Care Communication: The Development of an Automated Means for Identifying Patient Portal Secure Messages Not Authored by the Patient

Kelly Trevino, PhD and Andrew S. Epstein, MD

Project Title: Values and Options in Cancer Care 2.0 (VOICE 2.0): Building on lessons learned to improve communication and illness understanding in advanced cancer patients and their caregivers

Zsofia K. Stadler, MD and Michael F. Berger, PhD

Project Title: Detection of Tumor Derived Microsatellite Instability in Circulating Cell-free DNA as a Non-Invasive Cancer Screening Modality for Lynch Syndrome Patients.

Talya Salz, PhD and Deborah Korenstein, MD

Project Title: Pain management for complex cancer survivors


Jessica M. Scott, PhD and Pedram Razavi, MD, PhD

Project Title: Association between Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential and Cardiotoxicity in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Jada G. Hamilton, PhD, MPH and Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH

Project Title: Evaluating Experiences of BRCA 1/2 Mutation Carriers Identified through a Novel Population-Based Genetic Testing Model

Andrew Vickers, PhDHans Lilja, MD, PhD and Robert Klein, PhD

Project Title: Integrating SNPs and Biomarkers for Screening Healthy Men for Risk of Dying from Prostate Cancer

Eli L. Diamond, MD; Katherine Panageas, DrPH and Allison Applebaum, PhD

Project Title: Defining Supportive Care Needs of Patients with Erdheim-Chester Disease and their Caregivers

Talia Zaider, PhD and Ann Marie Mazzella Ebstein, PhD, RN

Project Title: Advancing Family-Centered Care Nursing Practices in Inpatient Oncology


Smita Banerjee, PhD, and Koshy Alexander, MD

Project title: Geriatrics communication skills-training program for oncology clinicians to improve management of care for geriatric cancer patients

Denise Correa, PhD; James Root, PhD; and Behroze Vachha, MD, PhD

Project title: Longitudinal neurocognitive and neuroimaging outcomes in older patients with multiple myeloma treated with autologous stem cell transplantation

Lee Jones, PhD; Lydia Finley, PhD; and Lukas Dow, PhD

Project title: Exercise regulation of intestinal stem cell biology and function

Emily Tonorezos, MD, MPH, and Eric Pamer, MD

Project title: A phase II study of overnight fasting after treatment (ONFat)


Helena Furberg Barnes, MSPH, PhD, and Andrew Dannenberg, MD

Project title: Metabo-inflammation and the obesity paradox in kidney cancer

James Root, PhD, and Ellin Berman, MD

Project title: Assessment of cognitive dysfunction in TKI-treated chronic myelogenous leukemia patients using cognitive-experimental methods

Benjamin Roman, MD, MSHP; Jennifer Hay, PhD; and R. Michael Tuttle, MD

Project title: Decision-making and psychological outcomes in low risk papillary thyroid cancer

Victoria Blinder, MD, and Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD

Project title: Development of an intervention to help low-income breast cancer patients work during treatment


Jennifer Hay, PhD and Irene Orlow, PhD

Project title: Personalized genomic testing for melanoma: maximizing comprehension and health outcomes in skin cancer patients

Jada Hamilton, PhD, MPH, and Mark Robson, MD

Project title: Streamlining the delivery of genetic testing in the ovarian cancer context: a pilot study of patient outcomes

Jason Huse, MD, PhD; Sara Olson, PhD; and Robert Young, MD

Project title: Evaluating the etiological and clinical factors distinguishing molecular subclasses of diffuse glioma: a pilot study

Thomas Atkinson, PhD, and Pamela Ginex, EdD, MPH, RN, OCN

Project title: Using a patient-centered mHealth intervention to improve adherence to oral anticancer medications


Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, and Stacy Stabler, MD, PhD

Project title: Development and refinement of a bereavement risk-screening tool

Lee Jones, PhD, and Richard White, MD, PhD

Project title: Aerobic training modulation of metastatic biology using a transparent zebrafish model

Jada Hamilton, PhD, MPH, and Mark Robson, MD

Project title: IFACT — incidental findings in advanced cancer therapy

Jonine Bernstein, PhD, MS, AB; Adriana Corben, MD; and Janice Sung, MD

Project title: Histopathologic characteristics of MRI background parenchymal enhancement as a biomarker of breast cancer risk


Denise Correa, PhD, and Irene Orlow, PhD

Project title: Aging-related genes, cognitive functions, and amyloid imaging in brain tumor patients.

T. Peter Kingham, MD, FACS, and Timothy Chan, MD, PhD

Project title: Determining the biologic basis for differences seen in patients with colorectal cancer in West Africa compared to the US.

Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, PhD, and David Pfister, MD

Project title: Diagnosis-related errors in cancer: feasibility study

John Petrini, PhD, and Kenneth Offit, MD

Project title: RTEL1 and idiopathic bone marrow failure