Dr. John Sampson, a researcher and doctor at Duke University, is the second recipient of the Tug McGraw Researcher of the Year Award.

Sampson has developed vaccines for the treatment of brain cancer.

The award is named after the former Mets and Phillies star relief pitcher, who died of brain cancer.

Sampson, a medical doctor who also holds a Ph.D., is associate deputy director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. He also is an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Neurosurgery at Duke.

Dr. Darell Bigner, co-director of the university’s brain tumor center, won the first McGraw award that was presented in 2006.

Several late-phase clinical trials are under way utilizing Sampson’s research. A Phase III trial is being sponsored by Celldex Therapeutics.

"I believe the work we are doing with vaccines is very promising and supports the foundation’s mission of finding better ways to treat this devastating disease," Sampson said in a statement.

The Tug McGraw Foundation will present Sampson with the award on Nov. 2 in St. Louis. McGraw died in 2004. He is widely remembered for his “Ya gotta believe” comment that he used in his baseball career and as he fought cancer. The saying became a rallying  cry for Mets fans as the team worked toward and won the 1969 World Series.