- Caitlin Tydings, MD, has been awarded the Andrew J. Lockhart Postdoctoral Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound and Immuno-Oncology.
- At Children’s National Hospital, Dr. Tydings is developing focused ultrasound as an immune modulator in pediatric cancers.
- The fellowship was established through the generosity of the Lockhart family in honor of their son, Andrew J. Lockhart.
Caitlin Tydings, MD, has been awarded the inaugural Andrew J. Lockhart Postdoctoral Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound and Immuno-Oncology. Dr. Tydings is an attending physician in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Hospital (CNH) and a research associate at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at CNH.
The one-year fellowship is designed for early-career researchers as a way for the Foundation to cultivate the next generation of investigators who could advance the development and clinical adoption of focused ultrasound in immuno-oncology.
Dr. Tydings has focused her research on developing focused ultrasound as a potential immune modulator in pediatric cancers. She shared her work evaluating the role of thermal ablation and mechanical histotripsy as an immune modulator and enhancer in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors in pediatric solid tumor models at the Foundation’s 2020 International Symposium.
She plans to use the $75,000 stipend to begin translating her preclinical findings into clinical studies.
“It is an honor to be awarded this fellowship in its inaugural year,” said Dr. Tydings. “I am very thankful to the Lockhart family and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation for supporting my passion for bringing novel therapeutics and combination therapy approaches to pediatric solid tumor treatments. I hope to make meaningful contributions to improving the quality of life and outcome of pediatric cancer patients.”
The fellowship was established in January 2021 through the generosity of the Lockhart family, who are longtime supporters of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, in honor of their son, Andrew J. Lockhart, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 39 from cholangiocarcinoma, a particularly virulent cancer affecting the biliary system of the liver and gallbladder.
Andrew’s parents, Terry and Gene, said, “We are delighted that Dr. Tydings is the first recipient of this fellowship. We believe it will take collaboration and revolutionary ideas to find effective immunotherapies for hard-to-treat cancers like the one that claimed our son Andrew. Our goal is to encourage a new generation of focused ultrasound researchers.”
“Dr. Tydings has demonstrated a clear commitment to advancing the development and clinical translation of unique focused ultrasound and immunotherapy combination approaches,” said Jessica Foley, PhD, the Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer. “This work could ultimately provide new treatments for pediatric tumors, giving children better and safer alternatives with fewer side effects. We are excited to see what she accomplishes in the future.”