New York City and Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Associate Professor Mikala Egeblad, Ph.D., has been awarded the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. The announcement was made today by The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance. This is the fourth year the Alliance has awarded the prize to promising early career, NYC-area scientists—this year, to five others in addition to Dr. Egeblad.
Recipients receive $200,000 in funding per year for up to three years, for a total of $600,000, to support explorative, high-risk/high-reward cancer research. The awards will be presented on May 24.
“The Pershing Square Sohn Prize invests in brilliant young scientists on their way to making significant contributions to the field of cancer research,” said Bill Ackman, co-founder of The Pershing Square Foundation and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. “We are proud to support early career investigators working on innovative research projects who traditionally lack access to capital to advance their work and bring us closer to discovering a cure for cancer.”
“On behalf of the faculty, I want to extend congratulations to Mikala Egeblad on this important award, which recognizes her very promising research in breast cancer,” said CSHL President Bruce Stillman, Ph.D. “I also want to thank the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance for recognizing the critical role played by philanthropy in supporting today’s cutting-edge science.”
Dr. Egeblad will research the relationship between chronic inflammation and the metastatic recurrence of breast cancer. In particular, her team will explore the of role neutrophils, a specific type of immune cell involved in the awakening of dormant cancer cells. Neutrophils can form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) as part of the body’s reaction to inflammation. By targeting NETs, Egeblad and her team hope to be able to prevent cancer recurrence in certain cases. Earlier this year, the team published a research paper reporting their progress to date in this work.
“The Pershing Square Sohn Prize gives us freedom to take risks and explore new ideas about how inflammation drives cancer recurrence,” Dr. Egeblad commented. “It is an honor to become part of the Pershing Square Sohn community, and to get resources and relationships needed to ultimately transform our ideas into clinical approaches.”
Egeblad is the third member of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faculty to receive the highly competitive Pershing Square Sohn Prize. Past winners include Associate Professors Lloyd Trotman and Christopher Vakoc, both cancer researchers.
Other winners of the 2017 Pershing Square Sohn Prize are Yimon Aye, PhD, Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine; Juan Cubillos-Ruiz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine; Daniel Heller, PhD, Assistant Member, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Richard White, MD, PhD, Assistant Member, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Additional details about the Prize winners can be found at http://psscra.org/winners/.
About The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance
The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance was formed in 2013 through a $25 million commitment by Bill and Karen Ackman and 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 http://psscra.org/.
About The Pershing Square Foundation
In 2006, Bill and Karen Ackman founded the Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact across the globe. In the decade since, PSF has committed $400 million in grants and social investments across a number of fields, including health and medicine, education, economic development and social justice. For more information visit: www.pershingsquarefoundation.org.
About The Sohn Conference Foundation
The Sohn Conference Foundation is dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases. The Foundation supports cutting-edge medical research, state-of-the-art research equipment, and innovative programs to ensure that children with cancer survive and thrive. The Foundation raises its funds through premier investment conferences and special events, including its renowned annual New York Sohn Investment Conference. Visit www.sohnconference.org.
About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu