Funding for “Exceptionally Creative Early Stage Investigators” to Support Cancer Research on the Emergence and Evolution of Early Tumors

Carlos Carmona-Fontaine

Carlos Carmona-Fontaine, assistant professor of biology and a member of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University, has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its highly competitive New Innovator Award.

Through this $1.5 million, five-year grant, Carmona-Fontaine will study the cellular, molecular, and environmental factors that affect the emergence of malignant cells and accelerate their evolution into aggressive tumors. The research will use a combination of experimental and computational approaches, including monitoring malignant cells using culture systems designed by Carmona-Fontaine to mimic the conditions of a cell’s microenvironment.

“Our long-term goal is to gain fundamental knowledge about the initial steps in how tumors form, so that we can better understand—and potentially treat—early tumors. Combating early tumors before they develop into an uncontrollable disease would be a breakthrough for cancer therapy,” said Carmona-Fontaine, a prior recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award.

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral, or social sciences within the NIH mission.