Alumnus Earns Award for Young Investigators

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A 2010 alumnus of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) and a partner are recipients of a $500,000 award for young investigators from a lung cancer research foundation.

Tal Danino, a professor in Columbia University’s Biomedical Engineering department, will share the award with Nicholas Arpaia of the Microbiology and Immunology department.

The duo is one of two chosen for the Young Innovators Team Award from the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the Van Auken Private Foundation. Their proposal, Engineered probiotics for precision lung cancer immunotherapy, is developing novel bacteria-based cancer treatments. “Combining their expertise in lung cancer immunology and synthetic biology, the investigators will design probiotic bacterial strains that find and attack lung cancer,” an Addario Foundation release says.

The award supports young doctors and scientists seeking a cure for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths. A panel of global subject experts chose the winners.

Danino received his bioengineering doctorate from the University of California, San Diego, in 2011 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining Columbia in 2016.