Young Investigator HER2 Research Award

Enhanced reliability and consistency of HER2 assessment in breast cancer diagnosis— particularly at the lower end of the dynamic IHC range—may impact clinical treatment decisions in the near future. Such impact will contribute to optimal diagnosis and care for patients.

With new HER2-directed agents in clinical development, the classification of patients with metastatic breast cancer may evolve. Although HER2 expression levels may vary within individual tumors and across tumors, HER2 status is reported as positive or negative to determine eligibility for current HER2-targeted therapies. Within this negative’ classification, HER2 IHC 0 and 1+ differentiation has not been a primary focus for a breast pathology diagnosis.

This award—sponsored by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.—offers CAP members (both Junior Members and Fellows) funding of up to $25,000 to support proposals leading to the development of a clinically implementable framework for monitoring and ensuring consistency in scoring HER2 expression levels, as clinical standards beyond current therapeutic thresholds may evolve. The intent and purpose of this award is to fund research proposals that aim to:

  • 1) Identify quality assurance measures that will support consistency of HER2 IHC scoring at the low end of the HER2 expression spectrum and 2) assess the impact of in-practice implementation of these quality assurance measures.

OR

  • 1) Develop effective processes for consensus HER2 scoring/interpretation and 2) assess the impact of in-practice implementation of these measures.

Eligibility

Open to all CAP members. Applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, gender, or national origin.

Because of this issue’s urgency, the Foundation seeks innovative, highly impactful short-term proposals (6–9 months) that can show progress within the period of this award.

Applicants must demonstrate how their projects support quality assurance, quality and/or process improvements in pathology, or patient safety, with the result of improved patient care.

Applicants who meet the following descriptions are encouraged to apply:

  • Have a career focus on breast pathology
  • Have completed a breast pathology fellowship
  • Are actively engaged with reading and reporting HER2 expression levels
Funded Up ToFocusEligibilityTimeframe
$25,000Offers CAP members funding to support proposals leading to the development of a clinically implementable framework for monitoring and ensuring consistency in scoring HER2 expression levelsAll CAP members (both Junior Members and Fellows)Apply by June 13

To Apply

Submit the following materials along with your application by June 13, 2022:

  1. Application form
  2. A project proposal, to include:
    1. Project title
    2. Project executive summary
    3. Detailed project narrative outlining project approach, goals, and resulting impact (max 3,000 words)
    4. Detailed budget (items ineligible for funding include indirect expenses, manuscript submission fees, cost of travel to present findings, etc.)
    5. Project timeline
    6. Confirmation that the project can be completed in six to nine months
  3. A letter from your institution (eg, department chair or residency program director) granting you permission to pursue the project, if an award is made
  4. Curriculum vitae
  5. Professional headshot for use in Foundation web and print media (Requirements: 1+ megabyte, color, professional dress, neutral background; no selfies please)

Applicants will not be considered unless they include the above items and cover the essay points listed.

If Selected

Activation of the award is planned to occur as early as six weeks after application submission (subject to receipt of required assurances). Young Investigator HER2 Research Award recipients are required to prepare a series of reports:

  • Interim reports are due at three (3) month and six (6) month intervals after project initiation.
  • After nine (9) months, a final report is due and must be in a form suitable for submission to the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. If the Archives editors reject the paper, the author is free to submit to other journals.

The CAP Foundation may also communicate the bestowing of this award and content from your evaluation form and project findings for future promotional purposes with CAP members and donors via the Foundation website, social media channels, newsletter, or annual report.