Back to News

Women Leaders in Oncology® Fully Funds the 2022 Women Leaders in Oncology Women Who Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award 

Vaniam Group to Match $100,000 for Young Investigator Award Endowment to Accelerate Future Oncology Research.
WLO Women Leaders in Oncology logo

CHICAGO, June 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Women Leaders in Oncology (WLO) 8th Annual Reception held on June 7 was a virtual gathering of more than 400 female leaders in oncology who raised nearly $73,000 for oncology research. $57,500 of the funds are designated for the WLO Women Who Conquer Cancer 2022 Young Investigator Award (YIA) and the remainder will go toward a Conquer Cancer YIA endowment created by Vaniam Group CEO Deanna van Gestel, who pledged to raise $1.35 million within 5 years. The fundraising event was held in conjunction with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 annual meeting. 

ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, Professor of Radiation Oncology, ViceProvost for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan, and a national leader in breast cancer research, was the keynote speaker at the event. Dr Pierce spoke about the importance of improving equity, diversity, and inclusion for minorities and women in oncology.

WLO held a virtual gathering of more than 400 female leaders in oncology who raised nearly $73,000 for oncology research

“I am pleased to see women leaders in oncology rally together to use their influence and power to champion health equity and cultural competency to profoundly improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Pierce.

“As a board member of Conquer Cancer® , the ASCO Foundation, I am thrilled with this year’s participation in our WLO virtual reception and the generosity of the inspiring community of women,” says Deanna van Gestel. “Based on the momentum generated at this event and our plans to continue fundraising, I am confident we will reach our endowment goal to further advance funding for the most promising candidates in cancer research.”

2021 YIA Recipients 

This year WLO was able to award 2 grants to support the research of young investigators in oncology. Marcella Kaddoura, MD, Mayo Clinic Rochester, was awarded a grant for her work on the characterization of residual myeloma cells that are refractory to up-front therapy among newly diagnosed patients with myeloma, with the hope of stopping disease progression and extending patient survival.

Elizabeth Zhang-Velten, MD, PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, also received a YIA for her research on metabolic imaging to improve earlier detection of heart damage from radiation and guide the design of clinical trials to better support heart health for cancer survivors.

About WLO

WLO is focused on creating research, business, and philanthropic connections for women in oncology drug development, clinical research, and clinical practice. WLO establishes and nurtures connections among women leaders through events, fundraising, and recognition. For more information, visit

About Vaniam Group LLC

Vaniam Group is a people-first, purpose-driven, independent network of healthcare and scientific communications agencies committed to helping clients realize the full potential of their compounds in the oncology and hematology marketplace.

Founded in 2007 as a virtual-by-design organization, Vaniam Group harnesses the talents and expertise of team members around the world. For more information, visit

About Conquer Cancer 

Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation was founded by the foremost cancer doctors of ASCO to see dramatic advances in the prevention, treatment, and cures of all types of cancer. As ASCO’s foundation, Conquer Cancer supports groundbreaking research and education so both doctors and patients have the resources they need. Their mission is to conquer cancer worldwide by funding breakthrough research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge.

SOURCE Vaniam Group LLC

Share This Post