Gopal awarded AMC fellowship for AIDS-related cancer research

Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the divisions of hematology/oncology and infectious diseases at the UNC School of Medicine, has been awarded a 2012 AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) fellowship. The fellowship helps foster the careers of new and junior investigators whose work involves clinical research trials on HIV-associated malignancies in resource-limited settings.

Dr. Gopal’s work with UNC-Project Malawi researches non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma in the region, diseases which are closely associated with the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. His work focuses on developing one of the first and largest well-characterized prospective lymphoma cohorts from the region, as a foundation for developing better treatments adapted to the setting, as well as an improved understanding of tumor biology. To support this work, Dr. Gopal received a five-year Fogarty International Center International Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institutes of Health in October 2012.

A member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Gopal completed medical school at Duke University, his MPH at UNC-Chapel Hill, an internship in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan and fellowships in medical infectious disease and oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to UNC, he lived in Tanzania from 2007 to 2009 as a Baylor Pediatric AIDS Corps physician providing care to HIV-infected families.

“It was during my work in Tanzania that I became deeply interested in cancer in resource-limited environments, an interest which grew out of my daily distress at the plight of cancer patients, many of whom were HIV-infected. Despite being frequently young with curable cancers, these patients seemed forgotten, seeking care within a health system woefully ill-equipped to prevent, diagnose, treat, or palliate the immense burden of cancer occurring there,” said Dr. Gopal.

The AMC fellowship awards up to $25,000 a year to support the recipient’s research and educational expenses. The AMC will also fund two trips to the AMC Group Investigator’s meetings.