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Singh recognized for innovation in clinical investigation

Oncologist receives Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award

July 8, 2022

Nathan Singh, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

Singh is one of five new Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators named by the organization, which supports early-career scientists conducting cutting-edge cancer research. Each awardee will receive $600,000 over three years, in addition to help with research costs. Further, because many would-be physician-scientists cite the need to pay medical school loans as a deterrent to pursuing research, Damon Runyon also will retire up to $100,000 of such debt owed by each awardee.

Award recipients each conduct patient-oriented cancer research at major research centers under the mentorship of leading scientists. Singh will be mentored by John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, the Virginia E. & Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine and director of the oncology division at Washington University.

Singh’s research is focused on understanding why a cell-based immunotherapy, called CAR-T cell therapy, is effective in some patients but not others and why, in some cases, it loses its effectiveness over time. His team studies the interactions between CAR-T cells and blood cancer cells in an effort to understand how cancer cells drive CAR-T cells to become dysfunctional. The goal is to use this knowledge to develop next-generation immunotherapies that are more effective for more patients.