Foundation for the NIH Will Award 2022 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists to Two Medical Oncologists – Dr. Eliezer M. Van Allen and Dr. Nikhil Wagle

NORTH BETHESDA, MD, August 30, 2022 – The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) will award its annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists to two cancer specialists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Eliezer M. Van Allen, M.D., and Nikhil Wagle, M.D.

Dr. Van Allen will receive the Trailblazer Prize for his many contributions to developing the science of personalized cancer care. Using innovative computational approaches, his research is helping to determine the impact of both inherited and environmental factors on cancer and the influence of genes on an individual’s response to cancer treatment. Dr. Van Allen is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Population Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Associate Member of the Broad Institute, and a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care.

Dr. Wagle will receive the Trailblazer Prize for developing novel gene sequencing approaches to profiling cancer mutations that affect treatment response and drug resistance. In addition, he directs Count Me In, an innovative partnership between patients and researchers that empowers patients to actively participate in cancer research and speed the discovery of new treatments. Dr. Wagle is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Institute Member of the Broad Institute, and an oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Now in its fifth year, the Trailblazer Prize recognizes the outstanding contributions of early career clinician-scientists whose research translates basic scientific observations into new paradigm-shifting  approaches for diagnosing, preventing, treating, or curing disease and disability.

I am thrilled to watch clinician-scientists, such as Drs. Van Allen and Wagle, combine their expertise in medical oncology, genomics, and computational biology to find therapeutic solutions that directly translate to better lives for cancer patients. We applaud them for their trailblazing work bringing us closer to more personalized and effective cancer therapies,” said Steven M. Paul, M.D., Chairman of the Board, FNIH.

The Trailblazer Prize, and a $5,000 honorarium, will be presented to Drs. Van Allen and Wagle at the 2022 FNIH Awards Ceremony the evening of October 19, 2022.

I am honored to receive this award from the FNIH, and especially grateful to the members of my lab, along with my mentors, colleagues, and friends who are championing the drive for new discoveries to advance cancer care. I am excited to continue exploring new avenues of clinical computational oncology for precision cancer medicine,” said Dr. Van Allen.

Receiving this prestigious award from the FNIH is an honor. I share this recognition with my colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute, and with the many patients whose partnership has been critical to making these advances in translational medicine and precision oncology,” said Dr. Wagle.

A jury of distinguished biomedical research leaders selected Drs. Van Allen and Wagle as the 2022 Trailblazer Prize recipients. Michael J. Welsh, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, University of Iowa, served as Chair of the Trailblazer Prize jury, alongside the following members:

  • Barry Coller, M.D., Vice President for Medical Affairs, Physician in Chief, David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, Rockefeller University
  • Michael Fox, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; 2018 FNIH Trailblazer Prize recipient
  • Helen H. Hobbs, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • John I. Gallin, M.D., NIH Associate Director for Clinical Research and Chief Scientific Officer, NIH Clinical Center
  • Steven M. Paul, M.D., Chairman of the Board, FNIH; Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Karuna Therapeutics, Inc.; and Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures
  • Christine E. Seidman, M.D., Thomas W. Smith Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Director, Cardiovascular Genetics Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

The FNIH is grateful to Deloitte; Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., and David Rose; Novalis LifeSciences; Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D, Ph.D., and Martha A. Darling; and Fred and Donna Seigel for being Visionary Sponsors of the 2022 FNIH Awards Ceremony.

For more information about the Trailblazer Prize, visit


About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH):
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the NIH, the world’s premier medical research agency. FNIH works with its partners to accelerate biomedical research and strategies against diseases and health concerns in the United States and across the globe. The FNIH organizes and administers research projects; supports education and training of new researchers; organizes educational events and symposia; and administers a series of funds supporting a wide range of health issues—all efforts focused on areas of unmet need, paving the way toward better patient experiences and outcomes. Established by Congress in 1990, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

For more information about the FNIH, please visit

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