The University of Colorado Cancer Center has named two cancer researchers at the University of Colorado Denver as the 2009 Paul Calabresi Clinical Oncology Research Scholars. Calabresi Scholars are recipients of a five-year training grant that provides them with mentored support leading to their becoming independent translational cancer researchers.

Dr. Steven Leong is an assistant professor of Medical Oncology at CU Denver. Dr. Leong specializes in gastrointestinal cancer care and research with an emphasis on early drug development.

“When I started working in GI oncology during my residency in Ireland, we had only one drug for treating colon cancer,” he says. “I have seen the introduction of a number of chemotherapy agents, which makes this field really interesting. I wanted to have more of an active role in actually developing and testing these agents.”

Dr. Meg Macy is instructor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/ Bone Marrow Transplantation at CU Denver and The Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on early phase clinical trials in pediatric cancer, with special interest in children who relapse with pediatric brain tumors and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“I want to work on developing new clinical trials for relapse-refractory tumors for the mere fact that we don’t have a lot of options for treatment,” she says. “There are so many new drugs in development. In order to understand how to rationally target therapies, you really have to understand the basic science. This grant will provide me with additional training that you just can’t get in three years of fellowship.”

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 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at

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