PHILADELPHIA (May 25, 2022) – Laura Bukavina, MD, MPH, urological oncology fellow at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received a 2022 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award, which supports future research leaders and ensures they receive the necessary training and guidance for a successful research career. The Urology Care Foundation is the official foundation of the American Urological Association (AUA).
Bukavina will receive a one-year award of $40,000 to study tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes using an immunoscore prediction model. The research will be conducted under the mentorship of Philip Abbosh, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Molecular Therapeutics research program at Fox Chase.
“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Bukavina and are very pleased to see his promise as a translational urologic oncologist being supported by the AAU and the Urology Care Foundations. The work that is proposed in this grant has the potential to deepen our understanding of bladder cancer management and have a direct clinical impact,” said Andres F. Correa, MD, Fellowship Director. studies in urological oncology and assistant professor. in Fox Chase’s Urology and Urologic Oncology Division.
“The Urology Care Foundation is committed to improving urological health by supporting research, patient education and encouraging humanitarian efforts,” said Harris M. Nagler, MD, president of the foundation. “When we support researchers, we are supporting individuals who will improve our ability to prevent, detect and treat urological diseases and thereby improve urological health for all.”
Earlier this year, Bukavina received the Genitourinary Cancer Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). She presented the winning abstract, which characterized the gut microbiome of bladder cancer patients, at the 2022 ASCO Genitourinary Cancer Symposium in February. Abbosh also mentored Bukavina for this project, in which they compared the microbiomes of patients with bladder cancer and a cancer-free control group by collecting and analyzing stool samples from both groups.
Bukavina’s Research Scholar Award project will investigate the role of the immune environment, specifically lymphocytes and macrophages, and define their role in the immunotherapeutic response in bladder cancer. Researchers hope to go further by using artificial intelligence mapping for automated risk stratification of patients based on their immune infiltration before and during immunotherapy, she said.
“The AAU and the Urology Care Foundation understand the importance of recruiting outstanding young investigators into urology research and fostering their career success,” said Steven Kaplan, MD, chair of the AAU Research Council. “We are proud of the 2022 awardees and know that their work will have a significant impact on the practice of urology and the lives of those affected by urological diseases and conditions.”