AURORA, Colo. – Jacob Gump, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of the University of Colorado Cancer Center deputy director Andrew Thorburn, PhD, has received a $150,000, three-year fellowship from the American Cancer Society.

The award helps new cancer researchers who have doctoral degrees with initial funding to pave the road to an independent cancer research career. Gump, who received his PhD in Cell Biology from UC San Diego, is studying the role of autophagy—cellular self-digestion—in leukemia and lymphoma.

“I’m  excited and proud to have my first fellowship,” he says. “This is the first step to securing a junior faculty position.”

Gump became interested in cancer research after working in the lab of Stephen Hunger, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center associate director for pediatrics and director of pediatric hematology/oncology at The Children’s Hospital.

“When kids get cancer, it’s horrible,” Gump says. “I think the last 30 to 40 years have taught us that a lot of pediatric cancers are curable, and if we can learn more we can cure those kids who still don’t do well. I want to be a part of that.”

Specifically, Gump is working to understand if targeting the autophagy process in cancer cells helps or hurts the cancer’s survival.

About the University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and five institutions (The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 440+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at

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