Dr. Dan Landau, an assistant professor of medicine and of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine, and a core faculty member of the New York Genome Center, has been awarded the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research to support his work studying cancer evolution.
The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance has awarded the prize, established in 2013, annually to New York-based scientists pursuing high-risk, high-reward cancer research, and includes $200,000 in funding per year for up to three years. The research alliance aims to contribute to finding cures for cancer by supporting innovative cancer research and facilitating collaborations between academia and industry. Dr. Landau received his award at a reception on May 23 in Manhattan.
“I am very pleased to receive this honor,” said Dr. Landau, who is also an oncologist in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “This is a community of scientists that I look up to, and getting the opportunity to be part of that is a great privilege. Beyond that, the benefit of this award is that it challenges us to engage in projects with significant impact.”
In his lab at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Landau and his team have been leading scientific investigations of cancer evolution. Specifically, his lab has pioneered novel molecular and computational tools to analyze DNA, epigenetic information and gene expression in single cells. The lab applies these tools to define the evolutionary patterns of brain and blood cancers that enable them to progress and become resistant to therapy.
With the prize money, Dr. Landau plans to continue to innovate in the area of single-cell sequencing technology development, which he hopes will lead to the creation of precision cancer therapies, customized to individual patients, that directly address the ability of cancers to evolve in response to traditional therapies.