Newswise — Daniel Catenacci, MD, a physician-scientist and associate professor of medicine at UChicago Medicine, has received the National Cancer Institute (NCI) 2021 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award (CCITLA). He serves as the assistant director of translational research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the University of Chicago.

Established in 2009, the NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Awards recognize outstanding clinical investigators at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI-funded clinical trials and whose leadership and activities promote a successful culture of collaborative clinical research. The awards are also intended to support and retain investigators in academic clinical research careers. Each of these investigators is a full-time faculty member who is a board-certified physician and has practiced medicine between three and eight years post-fellowship.

Each recipient was nominated for the award by his/her Cancer Center Director on the basis of qualifications, interests, accomplishments, and motivation, and based upon the nominee's intent and ability to promote a successful collaborative clinical trials culture and to pursue an academic career in clinical research. The recipients will devote 15% to 20% effort to the activities associated with this award, and the sponsoring Cancer Centers have agreed to protect the awardees’ time for these activities. The award provides partial salary support for two years for the recipient to engage in activities and efforts related to the award.

“The NCI is pleased to recognize these ten talented investigators who dedicate themselves to the conduct of NCI cancer clinical trials,” said Sheila Prindiville, MD, MPH, director of NCI’s Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials. “These awardees—five men and five women—have outstanding leadership skills and will be conducting clinical trials in a range of adult cancer types, testing new cancer therapies, developing critical biomarkers, and moving the field of personalized medicine forward. Additionally, these awardees will be educating and mentoring the next generation of clinical trialists, working to enhance participation of underserved populations in clinical trials and improve community engagement and access.”

Catenacci will use the CCITLA to build out NCI clinical trial capacity at UChicago Medicine’s network affiliate sites and develop a precision-oncology education program within the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center for fellows in medical oncology, as well as other disciplines in which precision- and immuno-oncology-related medical issues are of relevance.

 “I am honored to receive this award,” said Catenacci. “It provides an opportunity for me to expand patient access and accrual on NCI clinical trials and supports my efforts to develop personalized targeted therapeutic approaches for the benefit of cancer patients with few options.”