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On Wednesday, May 22nd, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance held its Sixth Annual Prize Dinner at the Consulate General of France in New York, awarding its 2019 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research to seven early-career pioneers in cancer research in New York City.

The evening began with remarks by Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre followed by Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, President of The Pershing Square Foundation and Co-founder and Executive Director of the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance. After introductory remarks, Stephanie Oestreich, PhD, Executive Vice President of Evotec and member of the Kendall Square Orchestra, performed a beautiful violin solo. After the entrée, three current Pershing Square Sohn Prize winners were interviewed by The Pershing Square Foundation Co-Trustee and founder, William Ackman.

The 2019 Pershing Square Sohn Prize winners are: Swarnali Acharyya, PhD from Columbia University Medical Center, who studies the systemic effects of cancer metastasis, particularly the wasting of muscle tissue; Adrienne Boire, MD, PhD from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who researchers how cancer is able to metastasize into the spinal fluid and how this can be stopped; Yael David, PhD from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who looks at cancer’s effects on sugar and how this alters the tumor microenvironment; Matthew Greenblatt, MD, PhD from Weill Cornell Medicine, who studies cancer metastasis to the bone and how different stem cells can either aid or play a protective role in this process; Liam Holt, PhD from New York University School of Medicine, who examines how cancer cells respond to physical pressure versus normal cells; Alex Kentsis, MD, PhD* from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, hopes to develop new therapies to treat cancerous mutations caused by “jumping genes”; and Daniel Mucida, PhD* from The Rockefeller University, who researches the role of immune cells in the gut in colon cancer.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance was formed in 2013 through a $25 million commitment by The Pershing Square Foundation, which partnered 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 to young New York based scientists who are engaged in cutting-edge cancer research. For more information, visit

*Drs. Kentsis and Mucida are being funded in partnership with The G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Foundation, which aims to advance knowledge in the life sciences by sponsoring scientific research that will benefit mankind. Basic scientific research, with potential translational application, is central to this goal, and fundamental to their operating principles. They are each named a “Pershing Square Sohn Prize – Mathers Foundation Fellow”.