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Chapel Hill – UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center honored three clinical oncology fellows with $5,000 awards for their research accomplishments and clinical excellence. These first-ever awards were given to Daniel Higginson, MD, Autumn McRee, MD, and Emma Rossi, MD.

The Lineberger Clinical Fellow Award is being established to recognize UNC cancer trainees’ outstanding accomplishments in both clinical and research endeavors.

Shelley Earp, MD, Lineberger Director said, “The partnership among the School of Medicine departments, UNC Hospitals and the Cancer Center has built superb cancer care, research and training programs. Outstanding fellows have been attracted to Chapel Hill. This new award will recognize yearly several of our outstanding young physician-scientists and encourage their participation in UNC’s broad range of clinical, basic, public health and health services cancer research.”

Higginson is a fourth-year resident in the department of radiation oncology. He is co-principal investigator of a UNC Lineberger clinical trial evaluating radiation-induced changes in retinal oxygenation, after receiving grants from the NCTraCs and the Radiology Society of America to support his work.

McRee is a third-year fellow in the UNC hematology and oncology fellowship program. She was selected by the faculty and fellows as chief fellow, helping to run the program and serving as a liaison between the fellows and the faculty. Her translational research project involves examining the molecular signatures of a rare cancer called cholangiocarcinoma, a type of liver cancer, and the relation of these signatures with clinical outcomes.

Rossi is a fourth-year resident in the division of gynecologic oncology. She has developed a study of the potential of sentinel lymph node mapping for cervical and uterine cancers, a less invasive procedure than the current standard of care, comprehensive lymph node staging. To complete her work she has partnered with a surgical robotics company developing new technology and initiated a clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of this innovative procedure.