With the support of Giant Food, the NextGen Award was created in 2013 to recognize young investigators who are committed to pursuing a long-term career in Pediatric Oncology research. This $100,000 grant is made possible through Giant Food’s Pediatric Cancer Program. CCF is grateful to Giant Food for this support.
An independent Selection Committee receives and reviews proposals from the area and selects one submission to receive the award. To check on the status for the current year’s application status, guidelines and materials, visit the Grant Application page.
2021 NextGen Award Winner: Keri Toner, M.D.
Dr. Toner, of Children’s National Hospital, was selected as the 2020 Giant Food NextGen Awardee for her proposal to develop and functionally evaluate a novel T cell therapy that can ultimately be translated to the clinic for the treatment of pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Relapse after chemotherapy remains a major problem and leading cause of death in children with AML. The novel therapeutic will combine the current TAA (Tumor-associated antigen) T cell platform with (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) CAR technology to enhance anti-tumor effects in vivo.
2020 NextGen Award Winner: R. Taylor Sundby, M.D.
Dr. Sundby, of the National Cancer Institute at NIH, was selected as the 2020 Giant Food NextGen Awardee for his proposal identifying better detection methods for the adolescents and young adults with neurofibromatosis, who may develop malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, a rare and aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis.
2019 NextGen Award Winner: Lei Peng, M.D.
Dr. Peng, of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is the 7th Annual Giant Food NextGen Award winner. Under the mentorship of Alan Friedman, M.D., Dr. Peng received her grant for the research of using targeted therapies to treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML.) AML affects both adults and children, but as a pediatric cancer, this aggressive form of leukemia most commonly impacts in infants and teens.
2018 Next Gen Award Winner: Micah Maxwell, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Maxwell, of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is the 6th Annual Giant Food NextGen Award winner. Under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Raabe, also a CCF Grant recipient, Dr. Maxwell completed his third year fellowship in the spring of 2018. His research investigates a more targeted treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma, the most common soft tissue sarcoma and a cancer that has one of the lowest survival rates. His presentation on his related research can be found on the CCF YouTube Channel.
2017 Next Gen Award Winner: Haneen Shalabi, D.O.
Dr. Shalabi (center) is the 5th Annual Giant Food NextGen Award winner from The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on Acute Lympoblastic Leukemia & B-cell Lymphomas.
2016 Next Gen Award Winner: Jeffrey Rubens, M.D.
Dr. Rubens is an Instructor of Oncology and, for 2017, a pediatric hematology-oncology clinical and research fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His focus is on LIN-28 in atypical rhabdoid tumors of the brain to help understand the malignant transformation of normal brain tissue and to help find curative therapeutics for this deadly tumor.
2015 Next Gen Award Winner: Patrick Hanley, Ph.D.
Dr. Hanley is Director of Good Management Practices for Immunotherapy facility and the William and Shirley Howard Cell Therapy Laboratory at the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s National Health System. In addition to clinical-grade manufacturing, he is interested in translating novel cell therapies into the clinic. Over the past ten years, Dr. Hanley has helped to develop T cell therapies that attack viruses and cancer after stem cell transplantation and has recently focused on developing similar therapies for recipients of cord blood transplantation. Dr. Hanley is the Co-chair of the International Society For Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Early Stage Professionals Committee and is a member of ISCT’s Immunotherapy committee.
2014 Next Gen Award Winner: Nirali Shah, M.D.
Dr. Shah focuses on the implementation and conduct of clinical trials with a specific focus on immune-based therapies, targeting relapsed refractory leukemia, especially in the treatment of patients with post- transplant relapse. Her clinical trials include several Phase I trials for the treatment of relapsed/refractory pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Based on these trials, she has developed a niche for the translation of immunotherapy-based strategies for the treatment of relapsed/refractory leukemia. She currently serves as Principal Investigator in the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute.
Areas of expertise include pediatric acute leukemia, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, phase I/II clinical trials, relapsed leukemia, bioethics and cellular therapy.
CCF interviewed Dr. Shah in 2018 about the progress she is making with her research, and was awarded a CCF Research Award in 2019.
2013 Next Gen Award Winner: Leslie Doros, M.D.
On October 8, 2013, Giant Food of Landover, Md. in conjunction with the Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc., presented the first-ever Giant Food NextGen Award for Children’s Cancer Research to Dr. Leslie Doros, of Children’s National Health System.
Leslie Doros, MD, was a pediatric oncologist at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC. She completed her medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina, her pediatric residency training at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN, and her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Children’s National.
Currently, Dr. Doros is a Medical Officer on the Sarcoma/Melanoma team in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products at the U.S. FDA.