LRF Announces More Than 20 Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Grants

Investment Supports Young Investigators Dedicated to Developing Patient Therapies and Lymphoma Cures

New York, NY (March 20, 2019) – The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through education programs, outreach initiatives and patient services – today announced it has awarded 21 grant programs totaling more than $2 million to young investigators and disease-specific scientists based at many of the world’s leading cancer research institutes.

The 2019 LRF research portfolio includes grants in three categories: the LRF Career Development Award (CDA), the LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP).

The LRF CDA is a three-year grant that supports innovative programs from clinical researchers within five years of the completion of their postdoctoral training. Supported by an institutional mentor, grantees must spend at least 35 percent of their time in independent clinical research.

The 2019 LRF CDA recipients are Jean Koff, MD (Emory University); Anita J. Kumar, MD (Tufts Medical Center); Neha Mehta-Shah, MD (Washington University in St. Louis); and Raghuveer Ranganathan, MD, (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill).  Dr. Mehta-Shah is alumna of the 2017 Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP).  This is the fifth consecutive year an alumnum of the prestigious LCRMP received a CDA from the Foundation.

LRF Postdoctoral Fellowships is a two-year grant that supports PhD fellows who have not completed more than five years of postdoctoral work, and MD fellows who have completed at least two years and no more than five years of their fellowship work. Grantees must spend at least 80 percent of their time in research; their award provides salary support, professional development, and research expenses.

The 2019 LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship grantees are Elise Chong, MD (The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania); Yuxuan Liu, PhD (Columbia University Medical Center); Lena Lupey-Green, PhD (The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine); Antonia Rotolo, MD, PhD (Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania); Teresa Sadras, PhD (Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope); Irene Scarfo, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital (The General Hospital Corp.)); Nathan Ungerleider, PhD (Tulane University Health Sciences Center); Gabriele Varano, PhD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai); and Rui Wu, MD, PhD (Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania).  Dr. Chong is the inaugural Bruce D. Cheson, MD Postdoctoral Fellow; and Dr. Sadras is the Oliver Press, MD, PhD, Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow.

The LRF LCRMP awards two-year grants along with mentoring and education to hematology and oncology fellows and junior faculty dedicated to clinical research in the field of non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. Program participants, called LRF Scholars, attend and participate in a week-long intensive introductory workshop and follow-up programming intended to enhance their abilities to successfully design and administer clinical research studies and secure future grant funding. Participants also receive a professional development grant and are matched with experts in the field to foster future participation and collaboration within the Foundation through follow-up programming and activities. This year’s class of Scholars were selected by LRF’s Scientific Advisory Board for their promise in their study of lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

The 2019 Class of LRF Scholars includes Brian Hess, MD (Medical University of South Carolina); Andrew Ip, MD (Emory University – Winship Cancer Institute); Manali Kamdar, MD (University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus); Rahul Lakhotia, MD (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH NHLBI); Reid Merryman, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute); Allison Rosenthal, DO (Mayo Clinic Arizona); and Paolo Strati, MD (University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center).

“The Lymphoma Research Foundation supports early career scientists not just to support the next generation of lymphoma research, but because these scientists are already pursuing questions that will be crucial to a better understanding of lymphoma biology and therapies that will translate into improvement in patient outcomes,” said Thomas M. Habermann, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Chair of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). “The incredible promise that this year’s class presents will have immeasurable impact on future generations of lymphoma patients and their loved ones.”

LRF’s grant selections are awarded with the guidance of the LRF Scientific Advisory Board, which is comprised of 45 world-renowned lymphoma experts dedicated to seeking out the most innovative and promising lymphoma research projects for investment.

“We are pleased to announce such a significant investment in early career lymphoma investigators,” said Meghan Gutierrez, LRF Chief Executive Officer. “We see an undeniable continuity between the investigators that we support in the early stages of their research and the more experienced leaders in the field of hematology-oncology, including members of our Scientific Advisory Board who have received LRF grants in the past. By ensuring the brightest minds in oncology remain committed to the study of lymphoma, we are able to have a greater impact on the lymphoma community we exist to serve.”

To learn more about LRF’s research grant program, visit

Kinya P. Harte
Director of Communications and Marketing