Dafna Bar-Sagi Honored With Oustanding Investigator Award From NCI

Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, vice dean for science and chief scientific officer of NYU Langone Medical Center, and a senior member of its Perlmutter Cancer Center, was recently named a recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD

Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, vice dean for science and chief scientific officer of NYU Langone Medical Center, and a senior member of its Perlmutter Cancer Center, was recently named a recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Sagi was selected for the award in recognition of her fundamental contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms that drive cancer, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. She will receive $1 million per year for 7 years from the NCI to fund her research.

Sagi’s active research laboratory is widely known for elucidating cellular pathways involved in controlling cell growth. Her work has led to discoveries regarding the involvement of RAS oncogenes in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, tumor immunity, cellular metabolism, and cell-to-cell signaling. According to NYU, her focus is on defining how the activation of these processes by RAS oncogenes trigger the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer, and how this information can be exploited to design new therapeutic strategies.

“We are extremely proud Dr. Bar-Sagi’s work has been acknowledged in this way,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone. “Her leadership in cancer research is defined by two principal factors: wide recognition of the importance of her contributions to science, and the influence it bears on the investigative work of others.”

Sagi joined NYU Langone in 2006 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry, after heading the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.

Sagi was named chief scientific officer at NYU Langone in 2011 and serves as the principal strategist to advance the medical center’s research enterprise, which is supported by $330 million in grant funding.

NCI’s Outstanding Investigator Awards support researchers with esteemed records of productivity, encouraging them to continue or to embark on research projects of unusual potential. Because these awards provide funding over an extended period of time, they allow scientists to take greater risks and be more adventurous in their investigations.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in this manner,” Bar-Sagi said. “This award also acknowledges the numerous contributions of generations of investigators and researchers-in-training whom I have had the pleasure to work with. I am immensely grateful to the NCI for its continued support of our efforts to find a cure for cancer.”