Dr. Steidl was recognized as a pioneer scientist and received a prestigious award, the Allen Distinguished Investigators Award, from the Paul Allen Frontiers Group, a non-for-profit organization based in the United States, which invests in emerging frontiers in science. A total of $1.5 Million-USD was awarded to Dr. Steidl and his research team at BC Cancer to support a study of the dynamic, complex networks of normal and cancer cells constituting the tumor microenvironment using novel, multidimensional approaches. This project is in collaboration with a Cancer Imaging scientist, Dr. Akil Merchant at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and aims to comprehensively characterize the microenvironment composition and spatial architecture of cHL in correlation with somatic gene alterations in the malignant Hodgkin Reed Sternberg (HRS) cells to potentiate therapeutic advancements. Integration of the cutting edge technologies in single cell genomics and cancer imaging allows for simultaneous measurements of over 40 markers in primary patient samples at single cell resolution and unveils the complex spatial architecture and cellular crosstalk of this disease. This is the first-of-its-kind collaboration of bringing together two world-leading programs, which are focused on tumor microenvironment and cHL pathogenesis. The knowledge gained from this research will lead to development of novel biomarkers and immunotherapies targeting the tumor-host interactions, which will ultimately improve patient outcomes.
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