Indian origin faculty at St.John’s University wins 2024 AAISCR Young Investigator Award for cancer research 

Friday, 24 May, 2024
Dr Saurabh Agarwal (Photo courtesy:

A faculty member in St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was honored with the prestigious Young Investigator Award from the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research (AAISCR) for his work to find a cure for neuroblastoma, a devastating cancer that targets very young children. 

Saurabh Agarwal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recognized during an award ceremony at the 31st AAISCR Annual Meeting, which took place on April 8 in San Diego, CA. The event was held in conjunction with the 2024 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. This meeting featured a robust, multidisciplinary, scientific program united by the theme “Inspiring Science, Fueling Progress, Revolutionizing Care,” reflecting the AACR’s mission of preventing and curing all cancers. 

“I am humbled to receive this recognition for my research work,” said Dr. Agarwal, who won the 2024 AAISCR Young Investigator Award in the junior faculty category. “This will further motivate me to pursue my neuroblastoma research and to quickly find a cure, especially in light of the stress and suffering these children and their families experience.” 

Neuroblastoma develops in nerve tissue outside of the central nervous system. It is most common in children under the age of five. The median age of diagnosis of neuroblastoma is two years, and more than 95 percent of children are diagnosed before they are 10 years old. 

The tumor’s clinical behavior and response to therapy vary widely. Children with low- and intermediate-risk disease have better outcomes. However, for children with aggressive, high-risk neuroblastoma, survival remains poor. 

Dr. Agarwal focuses his research on identifying causes of relapse in neuroblastoma patients and developing targeted therapies for treatment. 

Dr. Agarwal is also a St. Baldrick’s Scholar at St. John’s University and has received multiple recognitions for his outstanding research, including a St. Baldrick’s Knight Commander Award, Oliver Wells Hero Award, and David Warriors’ Hero Award.