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Headshot of Joseph Pagano
The Pagano Awards are named for Joseph Pagano, MD, UNC Lineberger director emeritus and Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research. Pagano was the founding director of the cancer center and its postdoctoral training program.

The Joseph S. Pagano Award annually recognizes notable cancer-related papers authored by UNC Lineberger postdoctoral fellows. Winners are selected through a competitive process and are honored for their authorship of articles in high-impact journals.

Eligible papers are written by postdoctoral fellows holding a position in the laboratory of a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Authors of the three top papers receive a cash prize and potentially give a featured talk at a future UNC Lineberger event.

Award amount: $3,000

Guidelines for Pagano Award

Applications are now open, and the deadline is March 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Papers submitted must meet the following criteria:

  • Applications should be submitted by the preceptor of the nominated candidate and should be a member of the UNC Lineberger; any postdoctoral fellow in the preceptor’s lab can be nominated.
  • Research must have been completed while the fellow was at UNC.
  • Fellow must be primary author or co-first author of the nominated paper.
  • Paper must have been accepted or published in 2023. If paper was accepted but not published during the 2023 year, the journal’s letter of acceptance must be included with the application.

Application packet must include:

  • PDF of the paper.
  • Letter from the preceptor briefly summarizing the postdoc’s background, the scientific impact of the paper, and the postdoc’s relative contribution to the paper. While a description of the postdoc’s contribution is expected for all applications, it is particularly important for co-first authors papers or papers with multiple authors.
  • Letter from the postdoctoral fellow, describing the scientific impact of the paper, in 200 words or less.



View list of previous recipients of the Joseph S. Pagano Award