Reflections on Winning the New Investigator Award

Joshua Brandstadter, MD, PhD, MSc, is one of ASTCT's 2021 New Investigator Award recipients. The New Investigator Award encourages clinical or laboratory research of young investigators and is used to fund research costs or salary. The award — $30,000 per year, for two years — is to be used to support the investigator’s salary for his or her research effort. Alternatively, the award may be used for direct support of research costs. ASTCT has funded over 65 new investigators through this program. 

We asked Dr. Brandstadter a few questions around what winning this award means to him and his career. 

What does receiving this award mean to you? 
It is a long road to become a physician-scientist. The transition from fellow to faculty is a potentially perilous step down the career path. This award provides timely funding and training so I may continue to pursue my long-held career goals. It is particularly meaningful to receive this award from an organization composed of clinicians and immunologists I have long admired and hope to emulate over the course of my career. 

How do you hope to advance the science of transplantation and cellular therapy? 
Fibroblastic stromal cells do not simply compartmentalize the lymph node and spleen, but actively shape the immune response. I hope to advance our understanding of this recently uncovered pathogenic niche in graft-versus-host disease to design novel prophylactic strategies that can help patients. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the ASTCT community with regard to supporting the New Investigator Award? 
I am honored by my selection for this award, which is very important to my career development. This is very meaningful to me personally and allows me to focus on advancing the science to help patients and establish myself as a productive independent investigator.

Would you like to help budding investigators like Dr. Joshua Brandstadter? Donate to ASTCT and help push someone's career forward. 

Tags: BMT, transplantation, Cellular therapy, New investigator, Research, Donate