Kanakry Named Lasker Clinical Research Scholar for 2018

Christopher Kanakry, MD’07Christopher Kanakry, MD’07, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute, has been named a 2018 Lasker Clinical Research Scholar. His research at the institute’s Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch of the Center for Cancer Research focuses on developing safer and more effective transplantation treatments for patients with advanced malignant and non-malignant hematologic diseases.

Kanakry is one of eight clinician-scientists from four institutions this year to receive recognition as Lasker Clinical Research Scholars.

The Lasker Clinical Research Scholars program, a partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Lasker Foundation, supports the emergence of the next generation of clinician-researchers. The competitive program provides early-stage researchers the opportunity to carry out independent clinical and translational research for five to eight years at the NIH. The Lasker Foundation seeks to increase support for biomedical research by celebrating the power of biomedical science to save and improve human lives.

“I am very honored to have been named a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar,” said Kanakry. “This award will allow me to advance my current research dissecting the mechanisms underlying the clinical effectiveness of post-transplantation cyclophosphamide therapy in order to better understand how to prevent graft-versus-host disease and rationally integrate other therapies to prevent malignancy relapse. I am also beginning to directly translate these emerging understandings to the clinic in early phase studies to overcome some of these current barriers to successful transplantation.”

Kanakry received an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an MD from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency and hematology and medical oncology fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also carried out transplantation research under the mentorship of Leo Luznik, MD. Kanakry joined the National Cancer Institute as an investigator at the end of 2014.

By Aliza Inbari