Dana-Farber physician Zuzana Tothova receives Doris Duke Foundation Paragon Award for Research Excellence

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The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) announced Zuzana Tothova, MD, PhD,  an investigator in the Department of Medical Oncology and the Division of Hematologic Neoplasia, is the recipient of the Paragon Award for Research Excellence.  

Tothova and 24 others were presented with the award during a ceremony in New York City. This one-time recognition honors physician-scientists who have significantly advanced knowledge toward the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human disease or who have, through their professional contributions, improved health outcomes of patients. 

"Receiving the Paragon award from the Doris Duke Foundation means the world to me. I am extremely honored and very touched by this recognition," said Tothova. 

Tothova's research is focused on understanding the biology and therapeutic targeting of blood cancers, with a particular focus on the transition from the pre-malignant state of clonal hematopoiesis to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  

Tothova and her group have recently identified DNA damage repair and splicing as promising therapeutic targets in a subset of patients with MDS and AML who carry mutations in the cohesion complex, findings that have resulted in an ongoing clinical trial at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.  

The Doris Duke Foundation had previously awarded Tothova with the Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA) to support her studies on therapeutic targeting of splicing in cohesion-mutant myeloid malignancies.

"The Doris Duke clinical scientist award changed my life in ways that I cannot even fully recount — it supported me at a time when I was just starting my lab as a brand-new physician-scientist and provided the much-needed resources to carry out my independent work," said Tothova. "It also gave me a boost of confidence at such a critical and vulnerable time in my professional career development. I will be forever indebted to DDF and their CSDA program in particular for enabling my development as a physician-scientist."

The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) supports the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable, and sustainable future. The DDF strives to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human disease by strengthening and supporting clinical research. 

News Category
Acute Myeloid - AML
Blood Cancer
Myelodysplastic/Myeloproliferative Diseases
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Zuzana Tothova, MD, PhD