Translational Research Fellowship Established

Translational Research Fellowship Established; Prostate Cancer Pioneer Lauded

Prachi Mishra, Ph.D., Named First “Colonel (Ret.) David G. McLeod Prostate Cancer Translational Research Fellowship” Recipient

The new COL (Ret.) David G. McLeod Prostate Cancer Translation Research Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Prachi Mishra, Dec. 7 at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), in a ceremony in front of Department of Defense and industry leaders, cancer scientists, military healthcare providers and other colleagues.

Mishra is a research fellow in the Breast and Prostate Cancer Unit of the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. 

The Fellowship was established through a partnership among USU, The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF), and BERG, a Boston-based biopharma company, which also provided funding for the fellowship. 

The award will support an outstanding biomedical researcher to further accelerate the progress of an ongoing cooperative research and development agreement among USU’s Center for Prostate Disease Research, HJF and BERG. This partnership has been instrumental in groundbreaking discoveries using sera from a racially diverse prostate cancer patient population in the equal-access military health care setting, and BERG’s multi-omics and artificial intelligence platforms. The joint endeavor addresses the major challenge in the management of prostate cancer: a lack of biomarkers for differentiating indolent prostate cancer from aggressive disease, before treatment decisions are made, as well as during and following the course of treatment.

Mishra will work to develop precise markers obtained from blood and other biofluids to complement current predictive approaches in the management of patients throughout the continuum of the disease. The markers could help physicians determine which patients with indolent disease should be directed to active surveillance and which patients with disease progression should be directed to appropriate treatment groups.

Retired Army Col. (Dr.) David G. McLeod, for whom the fellowship is named, was also recognized during the ceremony. McLeod was presented with an award recognizing his contributions to prostate cancer research and treatment for nearly half a century. He retired in 2016 as founding director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) at USU.