Massey clinical researcher receives leadership award from the National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently awarded a Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award (CCITLA) to VCU Massey Cancer Center oncologist and cancer researcher Andrew Poklepovic, M.D. The CCITLA recognizes and supports outstanding mid-career clinical investigators at NCI-designated cancer centers whose leadership, participation and activities help promote cancer research through clinical trials.
“I am very honored to have been nominated for this award,” said Poklepovic, a member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey, who was nominated by Massey’s director Gordon Ginder, M.D. “The potential to save lives through research is what motivates me, and I am grateful to be at an organization that helps to foster and develop my leadership and research skills.”
CCITLA recipients are nominated by their cancer center directors on the basis of qualifications, interests, accomplishments and motivations, as well as for their abilities to foster successful clinical research cultures at their institutions. The award supplements Massey’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG, which provides Massey’s NCI designation) to help offset a portion of Poklepovic’s salary that directly relates to his clinical research activities. The award totals approximately $40,000 over two years.
“Dr. Poklepovic is an emerging leader in our phase I solid tumor program. His collaboration with basic researchers and clinical investigators at Massey and other cancer centers epitomizes the ‘bench to beside’ approach that brings new discoveries from research labs to patients,” said Ginder, who is also Lipman Chair in Oncology at Massey and professor of internal medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine. “This award is great validation of all of his contributions, and I look forward to seeing him grow as a national and international leader in clinical cancer research.”
Poklepovic completed his medical residency, including serving as chief resident, and Hematology Oncology fellowship at VCU, and he was recruited to the VCU Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care in 2011. Since then, he has served as the lead investigator in seven early phase clinical trials based on basic science conducted at Massey. In addition, Poklepovic has served as either co-investigator or institutional primary investigator on 15 clinical trials for a variety of solid tumors. Notably, he was recently selected as a co-primary investigator for a large, national clinical trial known as NCI-MATCH (National Cancer Institute Molecular Analysis for Therapy of Choice Program), which uses next-generation DNA sequencing to assign participants to a variety of Phase 2 clinical trials testing targeted therapies.