Dr. Joshua A. Fein, a third-year resident in the UConn internal medicine residency program and current applicant for hematology/oncology fellowship programs, has been selected by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to receive the 2021 Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation of Research Scientists (HONORS) Award. He’s one of 37 medical students and residents so honored.
The ASH HONORS Award supports medical students and residents who are interested in hematology but have not yet entered a hematology-related training program. Recipients receive $5,000 to conduct hematology research projects. Each HONORS participant will have an ASH research mentor who will assist and oversee the awardee’s work and progress.
The award supports research Fein is currently doing in collaboration with the transplantation program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, exploring how patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) bearing particular genetic mutations respond to CAR-T therapy. CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cells, he explains, is a recently approved cellular therapy which has revolutionized the treatment of NHL and some other blood cancers, in which a patient’s own T-cells — which fight infections as well as cancer — are collected and “reprogrammed” to fight the patient’s cancer before later being reinfused into the patient.
“Lymphoma often is a treatable disease, but not all patients respond to traditional therapies,” Fein says. “The work we’re doing with T-cells is changing our ability to help some of these patients toward remission and hopefully even cure. I’m excited to be recognized for my efforts as a physician and researcher, and especially pleased for the support and additional resources that will be available to me and to UConn Health.”
Fein has been an active researcher in stem cell (bone marrow) transplantation since his first year of medical school, at Tel Aviv University, six years ago. Before that he was an opera singer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and a master’s from the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe in Germany.