Jonathan Peled, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been granted the SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award by the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). The award is meant to support the specialization of researchers in immunotherapy, while developing state-of-the-art research in cancer treatment.
SITC estimates that the United States will suffer a shortage of specialists in oncology by 2025 and is therefore focused on assuring the future of cancer immunotherapy research by attributing the SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award. The award was granted to Dr. Peled based on his project titled “Evaluation of the Effect of Microbiota on Graft-versus-Tumor Activity in Hematological Malignancies.”
“I am honored to have been selected for this opportunity, and I am grateful to the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and to Merck for their interest in my research,” said Dr. Peled in a press release. “With this support, I hope to continue my investigation into how the community of microbes residing in our intestines affect the immune system’s response to cancer. I feel fortunate to be embarking on my career now because we have so many new tools that help make this work possible.”
Dr. Peled’s research will now be supported by the one-year, $100,000 grant, which was established by SITC with financial support from the company Merck.
Immunotherapy is currently one of the most important research paths in cancer treatment, since it uses patients’ own immune systems to attack cancer cells.
“I am delighted that Dr. Peled has been selected as the 2015 SITC-Merck Fellowship awardee,” stated SITC president Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS. “The work proposed represents innovative research with the potential to impact the field of immunotherapy and supports a most promising young investigator who is clearly dedicated to improving our understanding of tumor immunotherapy.”
“Merck is thrilled to help honor this year’s award winner,” added senior vice president for global clinical development and oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, Roger D. Dansey, MD. “We believe fellowship opportunities like this not only inspire the scientific community but have the potential to lead to meaningful developments in cancer immunotherapy research.”
The recipient of the SITC-Merck Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award will be officially recognized during an Award Ceremony on November 7, which will take place at SITC 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Associated Programs. “Following the completion of my fellowship, I plan to continue my career in hematologic oncology, with a focus on understanding the basic mechanisms of the diseases and treatments. I also plan to continue my work in directly caring for patients who receive bone marrow transplants,” commented Dr. Peled.