Samuel Bakhoum, MD, PhD, Assistant Attending in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), has been named a winner of the 2018 National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, which is provided by the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. This award is given to exceptional scientists who have contributed significant work in biomedical research.
Dr. Bakhoum is being honored for his research on the role of chromosomal instability (CIN) in tumor evolution; how CIN contributes to therapeutic resistance, immune evasion, and metastasis in human cancer; and the biology of cytosolic DNA.
“I am delighted to have been selected to receive the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award,” Dr. Bakhoum said. “This award will be instrumental in helping establish my independent laboratory, and it will propel our efforts to translate our research on cancer chromosomal instability to the clinic.”
The Early Independence Award, which was established in 2011, allows outstanding junior scientists to bypass traditional postdoctoral training and move into independent research positions. Awardees must have completed a postdoctoral degree or medical residency and proven their intellectual and creative abilities as well as their independence in research.
For 2018, the NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program issued 89 awards: 10 Pioneer awards, 58 New Innovator awards, 10 Transformative Research awards, and 11 Early Independence awards. The estimated funds total $282 million over five years.
Dr. Bakhoum received the award on Tuesday, October 2. For more information, visit the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award recipients webpage.