The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Announces Awardees of Its 2020 New Discoveries Young Investigator Awards

Awardees recognized for novel, early career research that improves the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer


Bethesda, MD – The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) today announced the recipients of its three New Discoveries Research Young Investigator Awards, supporting the development of outstanding early career research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer and/or upper tract urothelial cancer research.

Each Young Investigator Award provides a $50,000 grant that supports one year of bladder cancer research.  Since 2009, BCAN has awarded nearly $5 million to promising scientists and research investigators across the country and these awards demonstrate that the important work to improve the understanding of bladder cancer is continuing, even in challenging times.

BCAN’s two New Discoveries Young Investigator Awards were awarded to Dr. Yuki Kita, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to Dr. Burles (Rusty) Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., a Medical Oncology Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

The New Discoveries Young Investigator Award for Patient Centered Clinical Research was awarded to Dr. Matthew Mossanen, M.D., MPH.  To compete for this award, investigators must be working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational patient-oriented clinical bladder cancer research (e.g. studies of access to care, quality of care, quality of life, health disparities, and patient-centered outcomes research).

 “We are pleased to be able to help our promising, early-career research scientists who share in our urgent mission to improve bladder cancer outcomes,” said Andrea Maddox-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of BCAN. “We are also deeply grateful for the generous contributions of the Palm Beach New Discoveries friends of BCAN who helped make these awards possible.”

Dr. Kita’s proposal is “Defining NRF2 induced tumor invasion in bladder cancer,” and  Dr. Johnson’s proposal is “Targeting regulatory B cells (Bregs) to improve anti-bladder cancer immunity.”

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s (BCAN’s) mission is to increase public awareness about bladder cancer, advance bladder cancer research and, provide educational and support services for the bladder cancer community.


Mark Story
Director of Communications and Marketing
301-215-9099, ext. 208