January 01, 2017
Zarif: Targeting immune cells
Jelani Zarif, Ph.D., M.S., a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Kenneth Pienta, M.D., was one of this year’s recipients of the highly coveted Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Young Investigator award. Applicants from 15 countries, age 35 and younger, competed for one of 24 awards. Together, the awards represented a $5 million investment in the future of prostate cancer research. “This is an honor that I am extremely grateful for,” says Zarif. “My research will focus on targeting immune cells within the prostate tumor microenvironment. We believe that these cells aide in prostate tumor growth, supply metastasis- supportive factors, and allow tumors to circumvent therapy.”
Zarif was also honored for his work within the Baltimore community with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award. He serves as a mentor in a college-readiness program called the Beautillion Scholars program and in the Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT) program, which aims to transform under- represented high school students into health-care leaders.