S&C fellow wins 2021 Conquer Cancer Merit Award

Congratulations to Mark Lythgoe, Clinical Research Fellow in the Division of Cancer, for receiving the 2021 Conquer Cancer Merit Award, given for his abstract on disparities in cancer drug medicine regulatory approvals between regulators, which was submitted to the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Merit Awards are awarded to fellows or oncology trainees whose research is addressed in high-quality abstracts submitted to the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Annual Meeting and recognised for its scientific merit.

Speaking about his award, Mark said: “I’m delighted and a little shocked to be awarded an ASCO merit prize.  I think this abstract highlights some really interesting information about cancer drug approval delays. I’m really grateful to my PhD supervisor Dr Krell and the senior author Dr Khaki for their support in developing this abstract.  I would also like to thank my PhD funders 4D Pharma for their help and support.”

Mark’s background as a pharmacist (before becoming a doctor) has led to an interest in cancer drug approvals and he has previously published work in this area. He is currently studying for a PhD, under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Krell, on exploring modulation of the cancer microbiome as a therapeutic strategy and helps run Imperial’s MICROBIOME trial. His other interests include cancer policy, racial disparities in oncology trials, improving access to oncology trials, and COVID research.

Underscoring Mark’s success, Dr Jonathan Krell said: “This is a great achievement by Mark to be selected as one of the highest-rated abstracts at ASCO this year, out of over 5400 abstracts submitted.  This research highlights significant disparities in cancer drug medicine regulatory approvals between regulators and Mark has developed a successful collaboration with Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and the Mayo Clinic. Mark is also a pharmacist and I think his pharmacy training has been key in analysing this data. Well done!”

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