At the V Foundation for Cancer Research, we were thrilled to tip-off National Cancer Research Month this year with the V Scholar Summit. From May 2-4, 30 V Scholars from across the country visited North Carolina’s Research Triangle (home of our offices) to take part in the Summit to collaborate, network, and learn how to communicate the impact of their research to the general public and all who invest in them.
30 of the best and brightest minds in cancer research with the same mission of achieving Victory Over Cancer®, and using this time together to exchange ideas on how to best approach their work. The networking, the laughs – they continued long after each day’s formal agenda. It’s clear the Scholars appreciated the chance to learn from each other because you don’t study cancers in isolation.
The V Foundation for Cancer Research has awarded 483 V Scholar grants for a total of $78 million since the program began in 1994. V Scholars are young tenure-track faculty early in their cancer research careers. They’re the next generation of cancer researchers who are working to find cures for all cancers. They’ve brave. They’re bold. They’re people like Melody Smith, M.D., M.S.:
V Scholars are passionate about innovative science. They’re passionate about improving outcomes for patients. They’re best-in-class.
In order to become a V Scholar, proposals from early career scientists employed at top research institutions including over 70 National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers are competitively reviewed. The V Foundation’s esteemed Scientific Advisory Committee, plus other expert scientists, review and recommend the best proposals for funding. Grant recipients are awarded a $200,000 grant to support their research for two years. Administrative oversight includes annual scientific progress reports. Funding of innovative cancer research by V Scholars brings us closer to Victory Over Cancer®.
As part of their work with the V Foundation, Scholars have to specifically explain measurable outcomes they have achieved during their research period, provide an estimate of the number of people who will be impacted, and list any innovative therapies that have arisen.
One of the highlights of the Summit was a mentoring session, where past V Scholars provided advice to current V Scholars. This year, the following V Scholars of the past served as mentors.
- 1997 V Scholar – John M. Carethers, M.D., MACP (University of Michigan)
- 2000 V Scholar – Victoria L. Seewaldt, M.D. (City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center)
- 2015 V Scholar – Shizhen (Jane) Zhu M.D., Ph.D. (Mayo Clinic Children’s Research Center)
- 2018 V Scholar – Daniel W. (Trey) Lee, M.D. (University of Virginia School of Medicine)
Past and present, working together for the future of achieving Victory Over Cancer®.
As Melody says, “With the V Foundation, you feel that community and support as a team. There’s that opportunity for collaboration that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Game-changing leaders in their field, for the next three decades and beyond. We’re already counting down the days to the 2023 Summit.