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FONDAZIONE GIANNI BONADONNA FELLOWSHIPS: THE WINNERS OF THE THIRD EDITION

February 9, 2024

In view of the International Day of Women in Science, which will be celebrated on Sunday February 11th, 2024, Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna, with Prada Group as supporting partner, and Fondazione AIRC are pleased to announce the winners of the third edition of the ‘Gianni Bonadonna’ Call for proposals for Fellowships. Chiara Corti and Caterina Sposetti, two young Italian researchers, will pursue abroad their breast cancer research projects, sustained by these three-year fellowships. Now arrived at its third consecutive year, the ‘Gianni Bonadonna’ Call for fellowships has established itself as a valuable support for scientific research in oncology.

Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna, with the support of the Prada Group, and Fondazione AIRC continue their shared commitment to promote the training of physician-scientists in oncology. They are therefore pleased to announce the two winners of the third Call for international Fellowship, named in memory of Gianni Bonadonna, one of the founding fathers of clinical oncology. In this International Day of Women in Science, it is therefore a pleasure and an honor to introduce Chiara Corti and Caterina Sposetti, the young researchers awarded, along with their research projects, both focused on different aspects of breast cancer. With a three-year training and research period in a renowned international oncology institute, the two oncologists will delve into innovative approaches to breast cancer, contributing to find new hopes for a cure for many patients.

Chiara Corti is a clinical researcher at the Division of Development of New Drugs for Innovative Therapies at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan. She will work on her project at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Her research will deal with triple-negative breast cancer, where she will try to describe and analyze the interactions between neoplastic cells and immune cells within the tumor. This will hopefully lead to a more profound comprehension of these dynamics and to see if they can influence the response to preoperative therapies and to the risk of recurrence.

Caterina Sposetti moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Harvard Medical School, from Milan, where she worked at the Fondazione IRCCS National Cancer Institute. Early breast cancer is the main focus of her research project. Thanks to the fellowship, she will pursue her aim: to assess how a low or absent expression of the HER2 receptors on tumor cells may affect the metabolism of both cancer and patient, as well as its effects on disease prognosis.

Both the projects and profiles of the young winners of the third edition of “Gianni Bonadonna” Call are an example of the continuing effort to promote translational research. This is indeed the main goal of the partnership between Fondazione AIRC and Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna, with the support of Prada Group. Contributing to the training and research projects of clinician-scientists, so that scientific innovations can support clinical advances, is fundamental for the advancement of knowledge and to give hope to patients.

“We are proud of the results of the ‘Gianni Bonadonna Foundation’ Call for Fellowships, both for the scientific quality of the evaluated projects and for the opportunity that the Call represents for clinical and laboratory research in oncology. The training of world-class clinicians and scientists was one of Gianni Bonadonna’s main purpose. The Foundation named after him, that I have the honor to preside, will continue to pursue this opportunity of supporting young physician scientists – says Luca Gianni, President of Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna. For the third consecutive year, the Fellowship will enable to provide training and career development opportunity for young clinical oncologists in outstanding cancer centers around the world. It is therefore with pride and motivation that we will keep investing in our oncologists and hematologists, which have shown the right spirit of innovation to drive scientific evolution.”

“The important collaboration with the Gianni Bonadonna Foundation has allowed AIRC again this year to award two scholarships to young researchers who will thus be able to complete their training in outstanding international laboratories – underlines Federico Caligaris Cappio, Scientific Director of AIRC Foundation – . Our goal is then to guarantee the best conditions for them to return to our country, to put what they have learned to good use. AIRC is committed to supporting the growth of a new generation of researchers. For this reason, we have implemented a wide-ranging plan to enhance the contribution of the brightest young people, accompanying them in the different phases of their careers. For 2024 alone we have planned an overall investment of over 19 million euros to support specific Calls dedicated to talents in oncological science under the age of 40”.

Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna (www.fondazionebonadonna.org) was launched to honor and pursue the legacy of Gianni Bonadonna, founding father of modern oncology who developed key new therapies for women with breast cancer and patients with lymphomas. Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna’s mission is to promote therapeutic innovation from the earliest phases of research and support the education of new generations of physicianscientists in oncology.

AIRC Foundation for cancer research in Italy supports innovative scientific projects thanks to a transparent and efficient fund-raising activity, and a selection by merit through the international method of peer-review. Also, AIRC disseminates scientific information and encourages a culture of cancer prevention at home, in schools, and anywhere possible. Today AIRC can count on 4.5 million supporters, 20.000 volunteers, 17 regional committees, all over the country, to ensure the necessary resources to more than 6.000 researchers - of whom 54% are under 40s and 63% are females - working to make cancer ever more treatable. In 58 years of activity, AIRC allocated over 1,9 billion euros to cancer research (as of January 10th, 2023). For further information airc.it 

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