Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Awardees

Meet Our Funded Investigators

Since 2009, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) has allocated more than $10 million for bladder cancer research.

The BCAN Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Awards support high risk, high reward projects with great potential to produce breakthroughs in our understanding of bladder cancer. These awards are available to full time, independent investigators affiliated with non-profit academic, medical or research institutions within the United States or Canada. Awardees include:


Christopher Garris, PhD, BS

Assistant Professor, Pathology, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Research: “Overcoming immune suppressive myeloid cell barriers in bladder cancer.”

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John Taylor, MD, MS

Professor, Urology; Co-Leader, Drug Discovery Development & Experimental Therapeutics

Research: “Exploring therapeutic vulnerabilities for drug development in bladder cancer using Down Syndrome as a novel model.”

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Tyler Curiel, MD, MPH

Gmelich Chair in Cancer Immunology Research at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic

Research: “Rationally engineered IL2 for enhanced treatment of local and metastatic BC.”

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Dr. Tyler Curiel

2022 JPB Foundation Bladder Cancer Research Innovation Award

John Sfakianos, MD

Assistant Professor, Urologic Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Research: “High resolution molecular imaging to elucidate the contextual mechanisms of BCG resistance in non-muscle invasive recurrent bladder cancer.”

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Weiguo Cui, PhD

Professor, Department of Pathology, Northwestern University

Research: “Discovering what factors lead to T cell exhaustion and finding ways to reverse it.”

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Weiguo Cui, PhD, an Associate Investigator at the Versiti Blood Research Institute


John K. Lee, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Human Biology Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Research: “Inform new and effective treatment strategies for those suffering from variant bladder cancers.”

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John K. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Human Biology Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


Jeffrey Ravetch, MD, PhD
Professor, Rockefeller University

Research: “Intravesical delivery of FC-enhanced CD40 against antibody for the treatment of bladder cancer.”

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Philip Beachy, PhD
Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Research: “Transdifferentiation of fibroblasts to urothelial progenitors for definitive urothelial replacement therapy in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.”

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Michael M. Shen, PhD
Professor, Columbia University Irving Cancer Center

Research: “Modeling bladder cancer metastasis using human patient-derived tumor organoids.”

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Seth Lerner, MD, FACS
Chair of Urologic Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine

Research: “Proteogenomic characterization of MIBC to identify mechanisms of resistance and targets for therapy.”

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David McConkey, PhD
Director, Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute
The JPB Foundation Bladder Cancer Research Innovations Award

Research: “Targeting FGFR3 in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.”


Cory Abate-Shen, PhD
Professor of Urological Oncology, Columbia University Medical Center
Associate Director of Translational Research, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

James Family Foundation and Partner Fund Management Bladder Cancer Research Innovations Award

Research: “Epigenetic regulation of bladder cancer progression.”


William Kim, MD
Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The JPB Foundation Bladder Cancer Research Innovations Award

Research: “Immune Characterization of High-Grade Bladder Cancer.”