The Mary Ann Harvard Young Investigator Grants are competitive awards presented annually to early-career scientists in the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB to help jumpstart their research programs. These grants allow the young scientist to pursue work and gather data that can be used in the pursuit of more sustained, extramural funding.

The Young Supporters Board of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center funds the grants annually using proceeds from its signature event, Fiesta Ball.

The Young Investigator Grants were established in memory of Mary Ann Harvard, a charter member of the Young Supporters Board who lost her battle with cancer in 2013.

2020

Susan Bal, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Medicine
Project: “Minimal Residual Disease Response-Adapted Deferral of Transplant in Dysproteinemia (MILESTONE)"

Ahmed Elkhanany, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Medicine
Project: “Phase II, Single-Arm Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Olaparib (LYNPARZA) and Osimertinib (TAGRISSO) in Patients with Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer"

Mayur Narkhede, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Medicine
Project: “Use of Siltuximab for the Treatment of Cytokine Release Syndrome and Immune Effector Cells Associated Neurotoxicity Syndrome Related to CAR T-Cell Therapy"

2019

Romi Gupta, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Project: “Anoikis Effectors as Drivers of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Metastasis"

Benjamin Larimer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology
Project: “Cancer Immunotherapy Response Monitoring and Adaptive Therapy Escalation Using Non-Invasive PET Imaging of Granzyme B"

Rui Lu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology
Project: “Discovery of Novel HOXA9 Regulators in Acute Leukemias"

Andrew McDonald, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology 
Project: “Connecting Neuroimaging with Cognition Function after Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer"

Josh Stern, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Project: “Drivers and Vulnerabilities of Cancers with TERT Promoter Mutations"

2018

Emily Johnston, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric-Hematology
Project: “End-of-Life Care of Children with Cancer in Alabama: Disparities and Parent Priorities”

Jianmei Leavenworth, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Project: “Contribution of a New Subset of NK Cells to Antitumor Immunity”

2017

Rebecca Boohaker, Ph.D.
Assistant Fellow, Southern Research
Project: “Targeting Immune Evasion in Tumor Progression with Novel PD-1/PD-L1 Small Molecule Inhibitors”

Kelly Kenzik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology
Project: “Healthcare Utilization and Costs Among Older Cancer Survivors”

Christos Vaklavas, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology & Oncology
Project: “Dissecting the Translational Heterogeneity in ER(+) Breast Cancer”

2016

Renata Jaskula-Sztul, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Project: “Tumor-Targeting Nanotheranostic Micelles for Neuroendocrine Cancer Therapy”

Catherine Parker, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Project: “Should Breast Cancer Screening Mammography Guidelines Account for Race?”

Jason Warram. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
Project: “A Dual Anti-Angiogenic Approach to Improving Antibody-Based Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer”

2015

Braden McFarland, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell, Integrative and Developmental Biology
Project: “Evaluating FDA-Approved Ruxolitinib for the Treatment of Human Glioblastoma”

Soroush Rais-Bahrami, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Urology
Project: “Molecular Correlates of MRI Suspicion in Prostate Cancer: Active Surveillance”

2014

Mengxi Jiang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology
Project: “Investigate the Novel Role of p53 during Polyomavirus Infection”

Nicole Riddle, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Project: “Mechanisms Recruiting SETDB1, a H3K9 methyltransferase and Oncogene, to its Genomic Targets”

2013

Tiffany Carson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Preventive Medicine
Project: “Exploring Potential Bio-Behavioral Explanations of Cancer Disparities”

Carlo Contreras, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Project: “Characterizing the Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Proteome from Pancreatic Juice”

Anurag Purushothaman, Ph.D.
Instructor, Department of Pathology
Project: “The Role of Serglycin in Multiple Myeloma”

Dejun Shen, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Project: “Rapid Molecular Imaging to Evaluate the Surgical Margins of Breast Lumpectomy”