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Urology Fellow Honored with Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award

Dr. Jonathan Shoag, a urologic oncology fellow and instructor of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been named a winner of this year’s prestigious Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award.

Established in 2015 by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the award is for physicians pursuing a research career, providing them with the opportunity to advance professionally and become leaders in translational and clinical cancer research. Over the course of four years, recipients receive a total of $460,000 in research funding, as well as up to $100,000 towards repayment of medical school debts.  

“The model of the surgeon-scientist has always appealed to me,” Dr. Shoag said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to integrate my objectives of making fundamental discoveries in the lab and taking care of cancer patients.”

As part of the program, Dr. Shoag will be training under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Barbieri, an associate professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Dr. Barbieri has been an exceptional mentor to me throughout my urology residency and now fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center,” Dr. Shoag said. “He’s the paragon of the successful physician-scientist.”

“The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has an exceptional track record of supporting promising young cancer researchers,” Dr. Barbieri said. “Dr. Shoag’s recognition with this award highlights the impact he can have as a urologist and his potential to reshape the way we take care of patients with prostate cancer. It’s a tremendous honor.”

In Dr. Barbieri’s lab, Dr. Shoag studies the molecular underpinnings of prostate cancer. His work focuses on finding drugs that can be repurposed to treat prostate cancer by pairing statistical and machine learning approaches to large-scale clinical data with unique cellular models of the disease and cutting-edge molecular tools.

“At the end of the day, this has very real potential to help patients and further our understanding of cancer biology,” Dr. Shoag said. “I am incredibly grateful for this award; it ensures I have the protected time and resources to devote myself to this work.”

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