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Yale’s Markus Müschen Receives Prestigious NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

New Haven, CT — The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recognized Markus Müschen, MD, PhD, with its Outstanding Investigator Award. The award supports scientists with outstanding records of productivity and innovation and provides more than $7 million in funding over seven years for groundbreaking cancer research. Müschen is the Director of the Center of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Hematology, and Professor of Immunobiology at Yale Cancer Center. His research program leverages negative selection mechanisms of the immune system for the treatment of drug-resistant leukemia and lymphoma, the most frequent type of cancer in children and young adults. 

“I am very grateful for this award, which will support our efforts to advance our understanding of the negative mechanisms in the immune system and how these mechanisms can be leveraged for the treatment of refractory leukemias and lymphomas,” said Müschen. “Our research targets a unique vulnerability of B-cell-derived cancers. Only B-cells can produce harmful autoantibodies, which makes them sensitive to therapeutics that target negative selection. The focus on negative selection avoids the often-serious side effects of aggressive chemotherapy.”

The highly competitive NCI Outstanding Investigator Award supports investigators with outstanding records of productivity in cancer research by providing extended funding stability and encouraging investigators to continue or embark on projects of unusual potential in cancer research. Müschen received this distinction from the NCI for the first time while at University of California San Francisco in 2015, and has been named to a second term as an NCI Outstanding Investigator at Yale.

“Dr. Müschen’s research has provided vital insights and deepened our understanding in the field of B-cell malignancies,” said Nita Ahuja, MD, MBA, FACS, Interim Director of Yale Cancer Center and Physician-in-Chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital, William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery, and Chair of Surgery. “This award recognizes his pioneering research and will enable future groundbreaking discoveries in his laboratory that will ultimately benefit patients with refractory B-cell malignancies.”


Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University and Yale Medicine, the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine and the largest academic multi-specialty practice in New England. Yale New Haven Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine.

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