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Mason feted for epigenetics work

Friday, May 8, 2015

Photo of Mark Rubin and Chris Mason at awards dinnerMark Rubin, M.D., chats with finalist honoree Chris Mason, Ph.D., at the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research reception. Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty

Christopher Mason, Ph.D., was honored as a finalist for the second annual Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research by The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance

The highly competitive initiative was formed through a $25 million commitment by The Pershing Square Foundation, which partnered with The Sohn Conference Foundation, to help bridge the gap between academia and the business community and to support young scientists at a formative stage in their careers. In order to facilitate these collaborations, each Prize winner is given a mentor in the pharmaceutical industry and the opportunity to present his or her work to scientific and business audiences.

Six other New York City-based scientists will receive $200,000 of funding per year for up to three years to enable them to continue to pursue explorative and high-risk/high-reward research.  

  • Timothy Chan, M.D., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Dr. Chan’s research focuses on defining the molecular determinants that cause sensitivity and resistance to immune checkpoint blockage therapy in melanoma and lung cancer patients.
  • Arvin Dar, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: Dr. Dar’s research focuses on developing a pharmacological strategy to selectively reduce mutant Ras signaling, thereby improving outcomes for as many as 1 in 4 of melanoma, lung cancer, and prostate cancer patients.
  • Evripidis Gavathiotis, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University: Dr. Gavathiotis’ research focuses on developing insight on apoptosis regulation of cancer cells and discovering innovative pharmacological approaches that may lead to effective therapies for pancreatic cancer patients.
  • Moritz Kircher, MD., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Dr. Kircher’s research focuses on refining the unique imagining capabilities that detect pancreatic cancer and integrating novel therapeutic weapons into SERRS-nanostars.
  • Christine Mayr, MD., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Dr. Mayr’s research proposes inhibiting only specific functions in a protein instead of the entire protein in order to open up new avenues for cancer treatment and reverse cancer progression in leukemia and lymphoma patients.
  • Sohail Tavazoie, MD, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University: Dr. Tavazoie’s research focuses on finding a way to identify and then block the tRNA fragments that cause metastatic cancer in melanoma and breast cancer patients.

Christopher Vakoc, M.D., Ph.D. from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was also honored as a finalist.

Additional details about the Prize winners can be found on the PSSCRA website.

Meyer Cancer Center members Mark Rubin, M.D., and Harold Varmus, M.D., also participated in a panel discussion at the awards reception, held May 7 at the Park Avenue Armory, an event also attended by the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, Laurie Glimcher, M.D.

Photo of Mark Rubin, Jose Baselga and Harold Varmus Mark Rubin, M.D. joins José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., physician-in-chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Harold Varmus, M.D. for a panel discussion at at the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research ceremony. Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Harold Varmus at Pershing Square Sohn Prize receptionHarold Varmus, M.D., participated in a panel discussion at at the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research ceremony. Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty