February 2, 2016
For the second time in four years, Dr. Hon Leong has been awarded as a Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) Rising Star. PCC’s Rising Star awards support young scientists in their pursuit of groundbreaking research. The 2016 award recognizes Dr. Leong’s significant strides in the field of prostate cancer research and the potential of his current and future studies. Funded through Movember Canada, Dr. Leong, a scientist at Lawson and Western University, will receive $450,000 over the next three years.
The award will support Dr. Leong in validating a novel class of drugs that could prevent the spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body. Dr. Leong’s lab will be performing rigorous testing of these drugs with the hope of improving prostate cancer prognosis.
“These drugs could be transformative because metastasis – the spread of cancer – is the main cause of death in prostate cancer patients,” said Dr. Leong. “Preventing further spread could significantly improve overall survival.”
Dr. Leong describes his 2013 Rising Star award as a turning point in his career. The funding enabled Dr. Leong’s work in developing two separate blood tests for prostate cancer screening and prognostication. Described as liquid biopsies, the two tests are currently being evaluated in Saskatchewan and Ontario.
“My first Rising Star award enabled the development of these liquid biopsies,” said Dr. Leong. “Canada will now be recognized internationally for these tools.”
Dr. Leong credits PCC and Movember Canada for their support of young investigators. “I’m blown away to be receiving the award for a second time,” said Dr. Leong. “I’m fortunate to say that PCC and Movember Canada singlehandedly started my lab’s translational and basic science efforts.”
For more information on PCC’s Rising Star awards, please visit the PCC website.