The ROI has a proud history of funding research projects led by radiation oncology residents. Since ROI grants are open to all qualified professionals in the field, the residents selected to receive awards have been chosen from a broad pool of applicants based on the high quality of their proposed research. Steven Seyedin, a PGY-4 resident at the University of Iowa, recognizes the impact the ROI funding can have for early career radiation oncologists. A regular donor, Dr. Seyedin says, “I give to the ROI because they give senior residents and new attendings the initial support to perform a variety of innovative and high-impact research.”
The ROI’s first award to a radiation oncology resident was given to Malolan S. Rajagopalan, MD, MBA, in 2013 when he was a PGY-4 resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. With the ROI grant, Dr. Rajagopalan developed the RadOnc Toolbox app and website as a digital resource to compile and categorize both acute and late radiation symptom management strategies and prioritize them by effectiveness and the levels of evidence that support them. To date, more than 4,000 users have downloaded the app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices.
This year, two residents received Personalized Radiation Therapy awards from the ROI, Adam Wolfe, MD, PhD, at The Ohio State University, and David Byun, MD, at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. Dr. Wolfe is leading a study that aims to identify which pancreatic cancer patients could benefit the most from radiation therapy following surgery using a new molecular signature that they discovered and is made up of microRNAs found in blood and tumor tissue samples. See the Q&A with Dr. Byun for more information about his project using virtual and augmented reality to reduce anxiety for patients receiving radiation therapy. In 2018, Fumiko Chino, MD, received a grant to study financial toxicity among patients with head and neck cancer when she was Chief Resident at Duke University.
The ROI will continue funding outstanding residents conducting radiation oncology research with support from Ritsuko Komaki-Cox, MD, FASTRO, who made a generous gift in honor of her late husband, James D. Cox, MD, FASTRO, this year. Recipients will be selected through the regular request for proposals and review processes.
The ROI is proud to support talented residents who are seeking to make a difference for the future of radiation oncology and is looking forward to carrying on the tradition through the James D. Cox Resident Research Awards.