Conquer Cancer Announces Recipients of the 2020 Conquer Cancer-Bristol-Myers Squibb Global Oncology Young Investigator Award in Implementation Science

Vicki Kilpatrick
GoYIA headshots

Alexandria, Va. - Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation is proud to announce Rebecca DeBoer, MD, MA, and Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD, as recipients of the 2020 Conquer Cancer-Bristol-Myers Squibb Global Oncology Young Investigator Award (GO YIA): Implementation Science to Address Oncology Care in Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs).  These GO YIA grants support early-career researchers with projects focused on developing and implementing training models for primary care physicians and identifying sustainable resources to address oncology care in LMICs.

Recipients are independently selected by Conquer Cancer’s Grants Selection Committee. The grant is supported through a charitable donation by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“We are grateful for the support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, which will help advance the important studies by Dr. DeBoer and Dr. Gyawali,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Conquer Cancer’s chief philanthropic officer. “To achieve our mission of conquering cancer worldwide by funding breakthrough research, it’s imperative to reach the physician-scientists serving patients and studying in communities everywhere.” 

“Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, so it’s critical that we invest in research to improve cancer care around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries where the majority of cancer-related deaths occur,” said Joseph Eid, MD, head, Global Medical Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are proud to provide funding to support two Global Oncology Young Investigator Awards.  This is a novel approach to help enable the rising stars in cancer research to positively impact patient care around the world.”


Rebecca DeBoer, MD, MA

University of California, San Francisco

“Implementation and Adaptation of Evidence-Based Communication Skills Training for Oncology Providers at Butaro Hospital in Rwanda”

Dr. DeBoer is a fellow in medical oncology and a Global Cancer Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and a joint MD and MA in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from Northwestern University and wrote her master’s thesis on the ethics of global cancer care and control. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and fellowship at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. During her medical training, Dr. DeBoer conducted qualitative research on cancer treatment decision-making in India and pursued clinical oncology rotations in Uganda and Nigeria and then worked as an oncology clinician at Butaro Hospital in Rwanda with Partners In Health. As a Global Cancer Fellow at UCSF, she has led research on radiotherapy prioritization in the setting of limited resources in Rwanda supported by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation, clinical decision-making about non-curative cancer treatment in Rwanda and Tanzania, supported by a Fogarty GloCal Health Fellowship, and cancer treatment guideline implementation in Tanzania supported by a Celgene Cancer Care Links grant. She will transition to assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF in January 2020.


Bishal Gyawali, MD, PhD

Queen’s University

“Precision Groundshot: Developing a context-specific and needs-based curriculum to train Primary Care Physicians in Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs)”

Dr. Gyawali is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, a scientist in the Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology, and a clinical fellow in the Department of Medical Oncology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, and an affiliated faculty at the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics and Law in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA. He previously served as a medical consultant for the not-for-profit Anticancer Fund, Belgium. He is on the editorial and advisory boards for multiple medicine and oncology journals and has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Gyawali’s areas of academic interest include cancer policy, global oncology, evidence-based oncology, financial toxicities of cancer treatment, clinical trial methods, and supportive care. He is an advocate of "cancer groundshot," a term he coined to imply that investment should be made on proven, high-value interventions in cancer care that are easy to implement globally and affordably.