The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has named eight researchers to the fourth annual class of Andrew Sabin Family Fellows. Each researcher will receive $100,000 in funding over two years thanks to a $30 million endowment established by the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, based in East Hampton, New York.

At a luncheon today, the 2019 fellows had the opportunity to thank their benefactor, Andrew Sabin, a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. Members of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 classes of Sabin Family Fellows and faculty mentors also attended.

“I look forward each year to meeting the new class of Sabin Family Fellows and experiencing their enthusiasm for unlocking the mysteries of cancer,” said Sabin. “My family and I are honored to help launch eight more long and illustrious careers dedicated to advancing MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer.”

The Andrew Sabin Family Fellowship Program aims to encourage creativity, innovation and impactful cancer research in the categories of basic science, clinical, physician-scientist, and population and quantitative science. Fellows named in 2018 already have made key discoveries in bladder, pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers as well as leukemia and glioblastoma.

“The ability to recruit and retain the highest caliber of young researchers is critical to the future of our institution,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Sabin Fellowships are among our most valuable tools in helping to recognize and reward tomorrow’s cancer care leaders. I am confident that the foundation’s generosity and vision will have a significant impact on these early career scientists and their efforts to help patients survive this terrible disease.” 

The 2019 awardees and their areas of focus are:

Lauren Averett Byers, M.D., associate professor, Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology: the first CAR-T therapy for small cell lung cancer, in the institution’s first solid tumor CAR-T cell therapy trial

Florencia McAllister, M.D., assistant professor, Clinical Cancer Prevention: study of the intra-tumoral bacteria detected in pancreatic cancer long-term and the use of fecal microbial transplants to improve therapy outcomes.

Jose Alejandro Rauh-Hain, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine: improving gynecological genetic testing and risk-reduction interventions in underserved populations

Grace Li Smith, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, Radiation Oncology: financial toxicity among patients treated with short-course versus standard adjuvant radiation for early stage breast cancer

Ishwaria Mohan Subbiah, M.D., M.S., assistant professor, Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine: investigating a personalized proactive technology-enhanced symptom management strategy to provide holistic care for patients on Phase I clinical trials

Andrea Viale, M.D., assistant professor, Genomic Medicine: the effects of transient inflammation and the role of epithelial memory during the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Linghua Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor, Genomic Medicine: TIM-3 as a potential target for treating peritoneal carcinomatosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer

Yinghong Wang, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition: fecal microbiota transplantation to manage immune-mediated colitis, which can be a devastating side effect of cancer immunotherapy