Meet the 2020 Young Investigator Symposium Presenters

Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, October 2020
October 20, 2020
News in Brief
News in Brief, November/December 2020
December 14, 2020
Dr. O'Dwyer and Dr. Schnall
From the Co-Chairs, October 2020
October 20, 2020
News in Brief
News in Brief, November/December 2020
December 14, 2020

Meet the 2020 Young Investigator Symposium Presenters

Young Investigator headshots

Mentorship Commitment Continues with 20th Annual Young Investigator Symposium

This story originally appeared on October 19, 2020.

The annual ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Symposium took place virtually via Webex on Wednesday, October 21, as part of the Virtual Fall 2020 Group Meeting. Following a record number of abstract submissions (40), the Mentoring Program Committee selected nine abstracts for this year’s program (shown below). The abstracts cover a diverse array of clinical and translational research areas.

Each young investigator gave a pre-recorded 10-minute oral presentation of their research, followed by a live question-and-answer period with attendees, moderated by the Mentoring Program Committee chairs.

The purpose of the Symposium is to introduce young investigators to ECOG-ACRIN and provide them with a forum to present their research in a formal manner and obtain feedback. Through this event, young investigators meet experienced investigators and learn about potential research opportunities early in their careers. Their oral presentations bring interesting ideas and novel approaches of young scientists from across a variety of disciplines to the attention of the ECOG-ACRIN community.

It is a tradition of the Symposium to honor two of the presenters with awards of distinction—one award in the clinical research category, and the other in the translational research category. This year’s winners were announced at the virtual General Session on Thursday, October 22, and are shown below.

The 2020 Young Investigator Symposium Presenters

Distinction Award for Clinical Research
Edina Wang, MD

Resident Physician
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
Deep Learning-Based Hippocampus Segmentation Using MRI for Hippocampal Avoidance Radiation Therapy

Distinction Award for Translational Research
Ravi Patel, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center
Low Dose Systemic Targeted Radio-Pharmaceutical Therapy Enhances Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Tarah J. Ballinger, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Impact of African Ancestry on the Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Survival in Early Stage Breast Cancer: Retrospective Analysis from E5103

Prantesh Jain, MD
Fellow, Medical Oncology
Case Western Reserve University
Novel Non-Invasive Radiomic Signatures Extracted from Radiographic Images Can Predict Response to Systemic Treatment in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Laura Kennedy, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Tumor Microenvironment Stratification by Breast MRI in Early HER2+ Breast Cancer

Laurie McLouth, PhD
Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Patient-reported Outcomes from the E1609 Phase III Randomized Controlled Trial of Adjuvant Ipilimumab (3 or 10 mg/kg) versus High-Dose Interferon Alfa-2b for Resected High-Risk Stage III-IV Melanoma

Nan Sethakorn, MD, PhD
Fellow, Medical Oncology and Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Modeling the Multicellular Bone Metastatic Niche Using a Reconfigurable Microfluidic Platform

Allison B. Warner, MD, PhD
Assistant Attending Physician, Melanoma Service and Early Drug Development Service
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Cyclophosphamide Chemotherapy Enhances Anti-Tumor Effects of Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in Mouse Models of Immunotherapy Refractory Melanoma

Wenxin Xu, MD
Genitourinary Oncologist and Instructor in Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Harvard Medical School
Plasma KIM-1 is Associated with Recurrence Risk after Nephrectomy for Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma

In ECOG-ACRIN, there is an established history of supporting young investigators in their pursuit of career development opportunities in clinical and translational research. Learn more at

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