On Wednesday, June 8 the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance held its 2022 Prize Dinner at Bar65 at the Rainbow Room in New York, awarding its 2022 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.
The evening began with cocktails on the terrace, followed by a seated dinner. To start the dinner, Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, President of The Pershing Square Foundation and Co-founder and Executive Director of the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance gave introductory remarks. The special guest speaker for the evening was Scientific Review Council Member Ali Brivanlou, PhD, Robert & Harriet Heilbrunn Professor at The Rockefeller University, who gave a fascinating presentation on his work with embryonic stem cells, the innovations in this space, and the ethical considerations, followed by a provocative and stimulating Q&A session. After the entrée, Scientific Review Council Member Dave Tuveson, MD, PhD, Roy J. Zuckerberg Professor of Cancer Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, introduced the seven Pershing Square Sohn Prize winners with a special video and welcomed The Pershing Square Foundation Co-Trustees William Ackman and Neri Oxman to lead the award ceremony. Prize Advisory Board 2022 Chair Jim Rothman, PhD, Sterling Professor of Cell Biology and Professor of Chemistry at Yale School of Medicine, gave concluding remarks.
The 2022 Pershing Square Sohn Prize winners are: Karuna Ganesh, MD, PhD from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who researches how metastatic cancer cells, particularly those of colorectal cancer, gain the ability to adapt to new environments as they spread to distant organs; Richard Hite, PhD from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who creates 3D structures of transporters within the cell to understand how they function and how they can be manipulated therapeutically to starve cancer cells; Nikhil Joshi, PhD, from Yale School of Medicine, who studies the functions of anti-tumor T cells derived from tumor-draining lymph nodes with the hopes of creating more successful immunotherapies; Piro Lito, MD, PhD from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who takes a novel approach to studying the properties of the oncoprotein KRAS that drives cancer cell growth; Michael Pacold, MD, PhD from New York University School of Medicine, who examines the role of oxygen and other biologically relevant gases in hard-to-treat cancers; Maria Soledad Sosa, PhD from The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, who explores the frontiers of metastasis biology to find actionable biomarkers and targets to stop lethal metastases; and Siyuan (Steven) Wang, PhD from Yale School of Medicine, who is working to develop a methodology to discover genes that regulate DNA folding architectures and gene expression patterns in a variety of cancers, which could lead novel therapeutics.
The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance was formed in 2013 by The Pershing Square Foundation, which has since committed more than $35 million to 59 scientists, in partnership with The Sohn Conference Foundation. The Alliance is dedicated to playing a catalytic role in accelerating cures for cancer by supporting innovative cancer research and by facilitating collaborations between academia and industry. Annually, the Alliance awards The Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, which provides early-career, greater New York area-based scientists the freedom to take risks and pursue their boldest research at a stage when traditional funding is lacking. For more information, visit https://psscra.org/.