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Rong Fan, PhD, and Shangqin Guo, PhD, Recipients of Yale Cancer Center Class of ‘61 Cancer Research Awards

December 21, 2021

Yale Cancer Center leadership has selected Rong Fan, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Pathology, and Shangqin Guo, PhD, Associate Professor of Cell Biology, recipients of the 2021 Class of ‘61 Cancer Research Awards. Both recipients are members of the Yale Stem Cell Center. The annual awards recognize significant accomplishments in cancer research at Yale Cancer Center by young members of the faculty, coupled with the expectation for future outstanding contributions to our understanding of the causes and cures for cancer.

“Dr. Fan and Dr. Guo are exceptional candidates for this important award,” said Daniel DiMaio, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of Yale Cancer Center and Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Genetics and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Therapeutic Radiology, who helped lead the selection process, along with Mark Lemmon, PhD, Associate Cancer Center Director for Basic Science, Co-Director of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, and Professor of Pharmacology. “These two outstanding scientists are rising stars in their fields and are already making a significant impact in cancer research.”

Fan is internationally recognized for his work in developing novel single-cell and spatial omics technologies and applying them to cancer research, including hematologic malignancy and immuno-oncology. His highly innovative research at Yale has made significant contributions to biomedical science, most recently identifying a new way to look at gene expression at the single-cell level.

One letter received in support of Fan’s award application stated that, “Rong is one of the most innovative researchers whom I’ve encountered in my 27 years of academic career as a faculty member. His future work will have an even greater impact to cancer biology and translational oncology.”

Guo’s areas of expertise include myeloid leukemia, myeloid biology, hematopoietic stem cells, and regenerative medicine. Her scientific contributions have included a better understanding of mechanisms of malignant myeloid transformation, hematopoietic stem cell pluripotency, reprogramming, and lineage (myeloid) commitment, and cell cycle regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. She has published numerous papers in high-profile journals including Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Nature Communications, Cell Reports, Blood, and Stem Cells, reporting on the cells that drive cancer growth.

A letter received in support of Guo’s award application recommended, “Shangqin with the highest possible degree of enthusiasm. She is one of the next generation of investigators who will advance our understanding in the causes and treatments of cancer.”

The Class of ’61 Cancer Research Awards are supported through the Yale Class of 1961 Cancer Center Endowment, which was established in 2016 by the Yale College class. The endowment has honored one or more Yale Cancer Center faculty members each year since its inception with a grant to support their highly promising cancer research.

Submitted by Anne Doerr on December 22, 2021