The Cary Council Awards $50K Grants to Three ‘DocStar’ Researchers at UTSW

The Cary Council—a group of young leaders dedicated to advancing early-stage research in support of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center—has announced three new "DocStars": Dominic Moon, M.D.; Robin Higashi, Ph.D.; and Proshad Efune, M.D.

The UT Southwestern principal investigators will get $50,000 each to continue their pioneering work. Since launching the program in 2017, The Cary Council has awarded 15 grants, which attracted $9.4 million in additional funding.

Three $50,000 grant recipients have been announced by The Cary Council following its fourth Evening with DocStars fundraising event, which was held last month at UT Southwestern.

The Cary Council is a group of young leaders dedicated to advancing early-stage research in support of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The group’s signature event raises funds to support talented, early-career UT Southwestern principal investigators, or “DocStars,” who are pursuing novel treatments and cures, Southwestern Medical Foundation said.

Five finalists were nominated by UT Southwestern, and this year The Cary Council steering committee selected Proshad Efune, M.D., Robin Higashi, Ph.D., and Dominic Moon, M.D., as the recipients. The 2022 DocStars will each receive $50,000 to continue their pioneering work in anesthesiology & pain management and pediatrics; population and data sciences; and radiation oncology; respectively.

Working toward a ‘healthier, more innovative future’

“Ensuring a healthier, more innovative future for the delivery of healthcare is dependent in part on the support received by the next generation of exceptional and talented leaders in research,” Southwestern Medical Foundation President and CEO Kathleen M. Gibson said in a statement. “The signature event created by The Cary Council, An Evening with DocStars, has been an exciting evening for all who participate while providing the means to significantly invest in this next generation of outstanding talent.”

The Cary Council seed funding will enhance Efune’s, Higashi’s and Moon’s chances of attracting more funding sources to further their breakthrough research, UT Southwestern said. Since the first Evening with DocStars event in 2017, The Cary Council has awarded 15 substantial grants to young investigators to accelerate their work, the foundation added.

Those grants have attracted $9.4 million in additional funding for research across important medical areas including breast cancer, brain cancer, genomic technologies, and infectious disease, Southwestern Medical Foundation said.

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