Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance is dedicated to playing a catalytic role in accelerating cures for cancer by enabling the pursuit of the most innovative and advanced cancer research and by facilitating collaborations between science and business.

Early-Stage Funding for Cancer Research

The Prize for young investigators provides early-stage funding opportunities to New York scientists with innovative ideas in cancer research. The program surrounding the Prize is a catalyst in bridging the gap between the academic scientific community and the business community.


2023 Prize Winners


February 14, 2024
Pancreatic cancer hijacks a brain-building protein

(Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the University of California, Davis have reached a new breakthrough in pancreatic cancer research—eight years in the making. It could help slow the disease’s deadly spread.

In 2017, as a postdoc in CSHL’s Tuveson lab, Chang-il Hwang and collaborators from the Vakoc lab uncovered a protein essential for jumpstarting metastasis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Now an assistant professor at UC Davis, Hwang recently reunited with CSHL Professors David Tuveson [a PSSCRA Scientific Review Council member] and Christopher Vakoc [a 2016 Pershing Square Sohn Prize winner]. The trio once again set their sights on PDAC. The disease is known for its aggressiveness. It often spreads to other organs like wildfire, wreaking havoc in its path.

“Metastatic spread is one of the reasons pancreatic cancer is such a deadly disease,” Vakoc says. “Our study led by Dr. Hwang has opened the door to new insights we might one day use to combat aggressive PDAC.”



May 18, 2023 

On Thursday, May 18th the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance held its 2023 Prize Dinner and Tenth Anniversary celebration at Manhatta in New York, awarding its 2023 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research to seven early-career pioneers in cancer research in the greater New York City area. It was a beautiful celebration welcoming our new cohort to the supportive and lively community that has grown over the past ten years.

The evening featured special guest speakers, George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CSO of Regeneron, and Deborah Birx, MDSenior Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute and former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, who spoke candidly on a panel about their work and the future of innovation and technology.

The Pershing Square Sohn Prize was created in 2013 to empower young scientists to take risks, explore bold ideas, and pursue their most pioneering research. Since 2013, the Prize has funded 66 early career investigators at 13 institutions across the greater New York City area and has built a community of researchers and mentors that learn from one another.


“The Pershing Square Foundation is proud to support scientific leaders in the fight against cancer.”

Bill Ackman, Co-Founder. The Pershing Square Foundation