Jackson State’s Jelani Zarif Wins International Prostate Cancer ‘Young Investigator’ Award

Jackson State University graduate and Johns Hopkins University Postdoctoral Research Fellow Jelani Zarif was announced this week as one of 24 winners of the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s annual ‘Young Investigator’ awards.

Designed to honor rising research scientists and investigators in prostate cancer treatment aged 35 or younger, Dr. Zarif was selected from a pool of more than 120 applicants from 77 institutions and research centers from 15 countries around the world.

“To be a recipient of a 2016 PCF-Young Investigator award this year is an honor that I am extremely grateful for,” says Dr. Zarif.  “My research will focus on targeting immune cells within the prostate tumor microenvironment. These cells aid in tumor growth, supply metastasis-supportive factors, and allow tumors to circumvent therapy.”

“I will identify new targets on these tumor-supportive immune cells in pre-clinical prostate cancer models. If successful, this project will credential novel therapeutic targets in the prostate tumor microenvironment.”

Recognized as an emerging authority on immunology and macrophage research, Dr. Zarif is credited as author or co-author of eight research publications and principal investigator of more than $300,000 in funded research since 2011.

A Chicago native, Dr. Zarif is the only African American and sole HBCU graduate named to this year’s class of award winners. The total class of awards recipients represents more than $5 million in funded prostate cancer research.

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