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The world has changed more in the past year than could have been anticipated, and creative solutions to the problems in health and medicine are desperately needed. Now more than ever, scientists who are prepared to adapt and evolve to an ever-changing environment are needed – those who recognize a new challenge before it is apparent and do not hesitate to find an answer. Often, those most able to do so are physicians and researchers at the cusp of launching their careers, where their drive and persistence is met with unique vision and innovative approaches.

Since 2017, STAT has recognized these exceptional early-career scientists with the STAT Wunderkinds award, which honors the brightest young minds in life sciences for their work in academia, industry, and in the clinic. MD Anderson is pleased to serve as the presenting sponsor of the STAT Wunderkinds for the second year in a row and looks forward to seeing how the honorees’ contributions will change lives.

MD Anderson’s mission is to eliminate cancer through outstanding patient care, prevention programs, research and education. Accomplishing that mission relies on an environment that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion at every level. Roughly 7,000 trainees from all walks of life participate in educational programs at MD Anderson annually. Those are some of the most talented physicians, scientists, nurses and health professionals in the world – sharing many of the qualities represented by the Wunderkinds.

Several of MD Anderson’s researchers have been honored as STAT Wunderkinds in the past: Limo Chen, Ph.D. was recognized for his work focused on the microenvironment surrounding lung cancer tumors, Gloria Echeverria, Ph.D., for her work in finding more effective treatments for chemotherapy-resistant, triple-negative breast cancer, and Omkara Veeranki, DVM, Ph.D, for her work in drug development and novel approach to drug testing.

MD Anderson strives to push the boundaries of science to develop innovative ideas to better serve patients with programs that are simply not found elsewhere.

The institution invested more than $900 million in research last year, and is committing significant investments for its future. As part of the TMC3 life-sciences complex now under development, MD Anderson is building a state-of-the-art research facility. This new research hub promises to enable new partnerships, connectivity and collaboration.

MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program® has established a new paradigm in team science to accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that save patients’ lives. Its Therapeutics Discovery division, an industrial biotech-like engine, was created to eliminate challenges of traditional drug development and answer unmet needs for patients.

Innovative programs like these are not the same without the contributions from talented young scientists. MD Anderson always seeks exceptional fellows, trainees, residents, and junior faculty, such as those represented by the Wunderkinds, to ensure critical thinking is always happening within its walls and to ultimately help end cancer.

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