The following awards were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting earlier this month:
The Duke University/Johns Hopkins University/National Cancer Institute Malignant Brain Tumor Team, led by Darell Doty Bigner, MD, PhD, Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke University School of Medicine, received the AACR Team Science Award, which recognizes a multidisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious scientific work that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment. Research from Bigner's team has increased the current understanding of the biology of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and lethal type of brain cancer.
Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, Alumni Endowed Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, and Director of the Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs at Washington University School of Medicine, received the second annual AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology. The award recognizes his contributions to the field of cancer immunology, which have helped establish a clearer understanding of the immune system's role in tumor progression (including developing the concept of immunoediting). He presented the lecture “Cancer Immunoediting: Applying Mechanistic Insights to Cancer Immunotherapy.”
Elaine Fuchs, PhD, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, received the 2014 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research, which recognizes her contributions to the understanding of mammalian skin, skin stem cells, and skin-related diseases. She presented the lecture “Stem Cells in Silence, Action, and Cancer.”
Curtis C. Harris, MD, Head of the Molecular Genetics and Carcinogenesis Section of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute, received the 23rd Annual AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention for his contributions to the fields of integrative and molecular epidemiology of cancer and cancer biomarkers. His work has focused on environmental carcinogenesis, cancer risk factors, and the molecular genetics of human carcinogenesis. At the meeting, he presented the lecture “Integration of Molecular Epidemiology and Biomarkers in Precision Cancer Medicine.”
Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Chief of Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service and Associate Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, received the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award for his contributions to the field of immunotherapy for melanoma and his work toward other malignancies. He presented the lecture “Realizing the Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy.”
Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, Director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was honored with the Eighth Annual Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship, which recognizes his work in tumor biology, his leadership in developing diverse international collaborations, and for training the younger scientists. He also serves as the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (radiation oncology) at Harvard Medical School. He presented the lecture “Re-engineering the Tumor Microenvironment to Enhance Cancer Treatment: Bench to Bedside to Biomarkers.”
Webster K. Cavenee, PhD, Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego, received the Eighth Annual AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research for his work in cancer genetics, his leadership in the global fight against glioblastoma multiforme, and his service to the AACR for more than 25 years (including serving as President of the organization from 1998 to 1999).
Douglas Hanahan, PhD, Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, and Vice-Director of the Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne, received the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research, which recognizes his contributions to cancer research.
Nima Sharifi, MD, Kendrick Family Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research, Department of Cancer Biology, and Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, received the 34th Annual AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award for his contributions as a young investigator to the field of prostate cancer biology. He presented the lecture “Androgen Metabolism Drivers in Prostate Cancer: From Mechanism to Therapy.”
John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Oncology and Deputy Director of the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, received the 19th Annual AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research. The award recognizes his achievements in experimental sequencing of cancer genomes, personalized medicine, and innovations in stem cell transplantation. He presented the lecture “GvHD vs. GvL … and the winner is?”
James P. Allison, PhD, Chairman of the Immunology Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award to recognize his accomplishments in basic cancer research. He also received a $10,000 honorarium with the award and delivered the award lecture.
Dale L. Boger, PhD, the Richard and Alice Cramer Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and the Skaggs Institute for Cancer Research at the Scripps Institute, received the Eighth Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research for his research combining novel synthetic methodology to develop natural products and for designing second-generation synthetic compounds as potent anticancer agents. His studies have elucidated the mechanisms by which several anticancer agents interact with DNA and the creation of unique drug paradigms. He presented the lecture “Uniquely Effective Synthetic Analogs of the Complex Antitumor Natural Products Vinblastine and the Duocarmycins.”
Levi A. Garraway, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, received the Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship Award from the AACR and its Minorities in Cancer Research membership group, which recognizes his research in genomics and functional approaches to characterize solid tumors, especially prostate cancer and melanoma, and his dedication to furthering minorities in the field. Garraway presented the lecture “The Cancer Genome in Biology, Therapy, and Drug Resistance.”
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Endowed Chair in Cancer Genomic Medicine and founding Director of the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, received the 17th annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship for her support and promotion of women working in cancer research, medicine, and genetics. She presented the lecture “PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome Previvorship: What now?”
And David Botstein, PhD, the Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics at Princeton University, received the AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship for his genomic work and for advancing the understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. He delivered the lecture “Evolution and Cancer.”
New AACR Leadership Assume Roles at Annual Meeting
Carlos Arteaga, MD, Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program, Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology and Medicine, and Associate Director of Clinical Research, is now President of AACR, assuming the role as of the Annual Meeting.
Other new leadership for AACR are the following:
José Baselga, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is President-elect. He has been actively involved in the AACR for more than 20 years: He was one of the founding editors-in-chief of Cancer Discovery; served as the Program Committee Chair for the 2013 Annual Meeting; was a member of the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012); and is on the editorial boards of Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Prevention Research. He has also chaired several committees and is a principal of one of the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Teams (Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women's Cancers).
“Together with the whole AACR community, I will push forward on multiple fronts including regulatory science and policy, integration of basic and clinical research, and access of clinical trials to our patient population with the clear mission of advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer,” Baselga said in a news release.
The five members elected to join the AACR Board of Directors are:
- James P. Allison, PhD, Chair of the Department of Immunology, Executive Director of the Immunology Platform, Associate Director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research, Deputy Director of the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research in Genitourinary Cancer, and the Lilian H. Smith Distinguished Chair of Immunology, all at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
- Ronald M. Evans, PhD, Professor at the Gene Expression Laboratory and March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.;
- Scott M. Lippman, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chugai Pharmaceutical Chair in Cancer, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research and Care, and Director, all at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center;
- Guillermina Lozano, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics, Co-director of the genetically engineered mouse facility, Co-director of the Center for Genetics and Genomics, Co-director of the sequencing and microarray facility, and Co-director of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and
- M. Celeste Simon, PhD, Professor in the Department of Cell and Development Biology and Scientific Director and Investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
And, the four members elected to join the AACR Nominating Committee are:
- René Bernards, PhD, Head of the Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Professor of Molecular Carcinogenesis at Utrecht University;
- Joe W. Gray, PhD, Gordon Moore Endowed Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, and Associate Director for translational research at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, and a member of the graduate faculty and Professor in Department of Radiation Medicine at OHSU's School of Medicine;
- Lillian L. Siu, MD, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Director of the Drug Development Fellowship Program, Director of the Phase I Program, Co-director of the Robert and Maggie Bras and Family Drug Development Program, and staff medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto; and
- Margaret R. Spitz, MD, MPH, Professor at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.