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Christine Lovly 2021 recipient of the ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Award

Jun. 9, 2021, 9:00 AM

Christine Lovly, MD, PhD

Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2021 ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Award, a major recognition of research excellence.

“Dr. Lovly is a shining example of the complete academic physician. A physician-scientist with a special interest in thoracic malignancies, Dr. Lovly’s clinical practice focuses on caring for patients with lung cancer,” the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group said in announcing her selection.

“At the same time, her laboratory research aims to understand and develop improved therapeutic strategies for specific molecular subsets of lung cancer. She is an outstanding researcher, exceptional with her patients, an incredible collaborator and a great mentor. She generously shares her time and expertise with patient-oriented foundations.”

Lovly, associate professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, is co-leader of the Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group Co-Chairs Peter O’Dwyer, MD, and Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, announced the award on April 29th during the General Session of the Virtual Spring 2021 Group Meeting. The Young Investigator Award recognizes extraordinary scientific achievements and research leadership contributions made by investigators during the early years of their careers (under age 46). A committee composed of previous recipients and ECOG-ACRIN scientific leaders selects one awardee annually. The award was established in 1992 and is funded by the ECOG Research and Education Foundation.

As part of the honor, Lovly will present her research at a future ECOG-ACRIN Research Group Meeting. She is best known for her work on ALK translocated (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including treatment strategies and resistance mechanisms. Her laboratory at Vanderbilt has also investigated other driver mutations of lung cancer such as EGFR and KRAS. She has been an active member of the ECOG-ACRIN Thoracic Cancers Committee since 2013, and she participates diligently in this committee and its core committee.

“Her opinion is highly regarded and sought after by committee members, who value her research expertise, voice of reason and insightful comments during scientific dialogue,” the announcement stated.

In 2014, Lovly was invited to serve as the translational study chair for the NCI-MATCH precision medicine cancer trial’s Arm E, investigating osimertinib in patients with various cancer types (except NSCLC) that test positive for EGFR T790M or rare activating mutations of EGFR. In 2017, she became the co-leader of the Lung Biology Subcommittee of the ECOG-ACRIN Thoracic Cancers Committee, where she assists with several exciting ongoing projects. In 2018, she started work as the ECOG-ACRIN chair of the NCI-NRG Oncology ALK Protocol (NCT03737994). In 2019 she was appointed to the NCI LungMAP Trial Oversight Committee (NCT02154490).

“The breadth and depth of Dr. Lovly’s laboratory investigations speak for themselves with the publication of over 90 original manuscripts — several high-impact for their clinical relevance — and an outstanding reputation for being at the forefront of developing precision approaches for patients with lung cancer,” the announcement said. “Dr. Lovly is also a tireless patient advocate and donates her time to several key lung cancer advocacy groups.”

In 2017, she was selected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. She holds several essential roles in national and international organizations. She serves on the Scientific Leadership Boards for LUNGevity Foundation, Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and the GO2 Foundation from Lung Cancer Research, where she serves as the Scientific Leadership Board Director. She is a sought-after speaker and has served on leadership roles in several national committees.

She has received several prestigious awards in her career thus far, including the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, V Foundation Award, and LUNGevity Foundation Career Development Award. She takes the mentorship of trainees very seriously, serving as a research mentor for multiple trainees. The presentations and publications from those collaborative efforts have been critical in launching the early careers of several of these investigators.

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