Dr. Saman Maleki recognized with an OICR Early-Career Investigator Award

Dr. Saman Maleki, a Translational Immuno-Oncology Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and the London Regional Cancer Program at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), has recently been awarded the Early-Career Investigator Award from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). He will receive $600,000 over six years to help support his ongoing cancer research. 

“This award covers all the different areas of cancer research that I work on as an immunologist, including, melanoma, kidney, pancreatic, lung and childhood cancers,” explains Dr. Maleki. 

Dr. Saman Maleki

The OICR will add Dr. Maleki to a list of recognized OICR scientists along with the monetary award. 

“It is incredible and I am very grateful,” says Dr. Maleki. “It is an honour and privilege for me to be among the company of other talented OICR scientists.”

As part of his ongoing research, Dr. Maleki has collaborated with fellow Lawson Scientists like Drs. Michael Silverman, Jeremy Burton and John Lenehan to pioneer the use of fecal microbial transplants (FMT) in the treatment of cancer, most notably through clinical trials in melanoma patients.  

“This research is making cutting-edge treatments available to patients right here in Southwestern Ontario,” adds Dr. Maleki. “While more research is needed, we are already seeing early signs of positive outcomes.”

In this research, FMT is used to modify a cancer patient’s microbiome in order to improve cancer treatment outcomes and side effects. 

“What we are doing is translating research from the lab to the patient bedside, which is very important,” says Dr. Maleki. “Our work could give some patients hope of seeing their kids get married one day. Making a difference for patients affected by cancer is important to me; that is my passion. I am so fortunate to receive this award and recognition that will allow me to continue following my passion.”

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