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Awards, Honors, and Grants

June 24, 2019

Shah Honored with DoD Impact and DoD Idea Awards

Khalid Shah, MS, PhD

Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, vice chair of Research in the Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging and Center of Excellence in Biomedicine, was selected for the Department of Defense (DoD) Impact Award and DoD Idea Award for his work on treating metastatic cancer with targeted cellular therapies.

Both prizes are awarded through the DoD’s Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program, which was initiated in 2009 to provide support for research of exceptional scientific merit for the benefit of U.S. military members, their families and the American public.

The Impact Award supports hypothesis-driven, high-impact research in critical scientific and clinical cancer issues. Shah’s winning project, “Stem Cell Mediated Targeted Therapies from Brain Metastatic Melanomas,” will focus on tracking the fate and therapeutic benefit of stem cell-engineered oncolytic virus (OV) and immunomodulatory agents in metastatic brain cancer models. The findings from this study can be easily translated into clinics using patients’ own stem cells or reprogrammed cells loaded with OV and engineered to release immunomodulators.

The Idea Award supports innovative, untested and high-risk/potentially high-reward concepts, theories, paradigms and/or methods in cancer research that are relevant to military members, veterans, military beneficiaries and the American public. Shah’s project for this program, “Targeted Cell-Based Therapies for Metastatic Lung Tumors,” aims to develop stem cells that can target receptors on the cellular surface of metastatic lung tumors that have spread to the brain; he will then assess the fate and efficacy of this therapy in mouse models. Given that most patients with these types of brain tumors originating in the lungs do not undergo surgery — and numerous systemic treatments have so far been ineffective — these therapeutics have the potential to radically change outcomes for this patient population.