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2016 Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Research Award Recipients

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2016 Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Research Awards. Funded by a generous donation from Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, the awards were established to provide Lurie Cancer Center investigators with the resources to conduct highly innovative cancer-relevant pilot studies that can serve as foundations for larger, nationally funded studies.

Based on the outstanding progress made during their initial year of funding, two awardees from 2015 received funding to continue their projects for a second year.  Two additional investigators received 2016 Innovation Research Awards that will support new pilot projects.  

The new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Scholars are:


Vadim Backman, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering

Chromatin protection therapy:  A new paradigm to combat cancer chemoresistance



Ali Shilatifard, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Feinberg School of Medicine

Transcription elongation control in cancer therapeutics


2015 Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Scholars whose award was renewed for 2016 are:


Laura Lackner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Identifying new ways to inhibit mitochondrial division, a process essential for cancer cell proliferation and metastasis


Athanasios Vasilopoulos, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Feinberg School of Medicine

Acetylation of KRAS lysine 147 is a novel oncogenic post-translational modification directed by SIRT2


Read more about the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Research Awards

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