Duke neurosurgeon Peter Fecci, MD, PhD, has been named a 2021 recipient of the prestigious Cancer Research Institute’s Lloyd J. Old STAR Award.
The STAR (Scientists Taking Risks) program provides long-term funding to mid-career scientists from around the world, giving them the freedom and flexibility to pursue high-risk, high-reward research in cancer immunotherapy. Fecci was one of six scientists selected for this award, which will provide $1.25 million in funding over a 5-year period.
As a physician scientist, Fecci works to remove barriers to using immunotherapy to treat brain tumors. The funding provides flexibility to explore disruptive avenues of research, which has been a hallmark of Fecci’s approach to tumor immunology. In addition to his work in the lab, he runs a busy clinical practice, and serves as director of both the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Duke and the Duke Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis.
The grants, which were established in 2019, support researchers based on the quality and promise of their work in cancer immunotherapy. They are designed to allow recipients to follow new and promising lines of investigation, with the goal of uncovering scientific breakthroughs. The program was named for the Institute’s founding scientific and medical director, Lloyd J. Old, MD, who is regarded as the "Father of Modern Tumor Immunology."