Sanger Institute researcher wins Pezcoller Foundation EACR Rising Star Award

Congratulations to Dr Sam Behjati, who receives the Award in recognition of his potential to make significant contributions to cancer research

Sanger Institute researcher Sam Behjati has won the inaugural Pezcoller Foundation-EACR Rising Star Award, which celebrates a cancer researcher who has the potential to make significant contributions to future cancer research progress. The award is presented biennially to a researcher of excellence who is within one-to-four years of having established their own laboratory in a European institution.

Dr Behjati’s recent published research includes the identification of the root of childhood cancer Wilms’ tumour, the developmental cell type from which neuroblastoma arise, and the origin of malignant rhabdoid tumour (MRT). These studies have also identified promising drug targets or possible existing treatments for these diseases.

The award will be presented at the annual European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Congress to Dr Behjati, a researcher of excellence who has spent the majority of his research career in Europe, and he will receive a €5,000 honorarium.

The award lecture will be given at the EACR Congress, taking place from 9-12 June 2021. Dr Behjati will be presented with his award by The Pezcoller Foundation President, Enzo Galligioni.

“It is a great honour to receive the Pezcoller Foundation-EACR Rising Star Award 2021. I hope to repay the faith shown in the potential of my research in the years to come by continuing to improve our understanding of childhood cancers and, most importantly, outcomes for those children diagnosed with these terrible diseases. I would like to thank the many colleagues and collaborators who have contributed to this research, and above all the patients and families without whom this research could not have taken place.”

Dr Sam Behjati, Group Leader, Wellcome Sanger Institute

More information

The Pezcoller Foundation

Selected websites

  • Wellcome Sanger Institute

    The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leading genomics research centre. We undertake large-scale research that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine. We are open and collaborative; our data, results, tools and technologies are shared across the globe to advance science. Our ambition is vast – we take on projects that are not possible anywhere else. We use the power of genome sequencing to understand and harness the information in DNA. Funded by Wellcome, we have the freedom and support to push the boundaries of genomics. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth. Find out more at or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and on our Blog.