News Release 

5 Pew-Stewart scholars selected to spearhead innovative cancer research

Pew Charitable Trusts

PHILADELPHIA--The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust announced today the 2020 class of the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research.

The five early-career scholars who make up the 2020 class will each receive a four-year grant to advance innovative research into the development, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. This is the seventh year that the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust has partnered with Pew to support cancer researchers working toward a cure for the complex disease.

"Despite the gains of recent years, cancer remains a relentless disease that takes millions of lives across the globe every year," said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew's president and CEO. "I am confident these promising researchers will help uncover effective diagnosis and treatment strategies to advance progress toward a cure."

Members of the 2020 class will investigate specific cancer-related applications, including methods to improve early cancer detection, the dysregulation of messenger RNA in the development of breast cancer, and the molecular connection between sugary drinks and the development of colorectal cancer.

"Cancer is a disease that touches all corners of society, and the work of these new scholars has the potential to affect lives around the globe," said Peter M. Howley, M.D., chair of the Pew-Stewart national advisory committee. "I am thrilled to welcome each of them to our program and to watch their discoveries unfold."

The 2020 Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research are:

Shruti Naik, Ph.D.
New York University
Dr. Naik will explore whether prior inflammation can predispose tissues to becoming more susceptible to cancer.

Srinivas Ramachandran, Ph.D.
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Dr. Ramachandran will improve methods for early cancer detection using cell-free DNA.

Mara Sherman, Ph.D.
Oregon Health & Science University
Dr. Sherman will investigate the role of stroma--the supportive tissue surrounding a tumor--in the evolution of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Xuebing Wu, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Dr. Wu will investigate the dysregulation of messenger RNA structure in the development of breast cancer.

Jihye Yun, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Yun will decode the molecular connection between sugary drinks and the development of colorectal cancer.


The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Learn more at

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