Carl June to receive ASCO’s Karnofsky award, Eric Winer—Bonadonna award, Brian Druker—Science of Oncology award

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Carl June, will receive the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture at the ASCO annual meeting, to be held June 2-6.

June is the director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine and the director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. His work is focused on the mechanisms of lymphocyte activation related to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection.

In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment is now being used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

In other awards to be presented at the meeting:

  • Eric Winer will receive the FASCO Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture. Winer is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and holds several appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Brian Druker will receive the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture. Druker is the director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work helped pioneer the practice of precision, or personalized, cancer medicine, by performing preclinical studies and leading clinical trials that were instrumental to the development of imatinib.

  • Patrick Loehrer will receive the Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture. Loehrer is the director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and the associate dean for cancer research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He was the founding chair of the Hoosier Oncology Group (now Hoosier Cancer Research Network) for two decades, which conducted trials in 20 countries around the world. Loehrer specializes in the treatment of a variety of cancers including testis, bladder, colon, pancreas, and, most notably, thymic, a rare cancer of the thymus gland. His research on the drug ifosfamide led to its approval by FDA.

  • Michael Link will receive the Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture. Link is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, is the Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His research interests include the biology and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas and Hodgkin disease, as well as clinical management of bone and soft tissue sarcomas in children. Link was an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology for 10 years, and is a former ASCO president.

  • Dean Brenner will receive the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture. He is the Kutsche Family Memorial Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. His work is focused on eicosanoids, primarily in the colonic mucosa as mechanistic therapeutic targets and as biomarkers for drugs, nutritional extracts, and dietary interventions aimed at reversing or delaying carcinogenesis progression. Because of the dearth of useful endpoints to define preventive therapeutic efficacy, he has emphasized biomarker discovery and validation platforms that enable interrogation of molecular carcinogenesis events in representative models of human biology.

  • Jean-Pierre Droz will receive the B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology. Droz has dedicated his work to the integration of geriatric assessment in decision making for treating older people with cancer and was key in the development of geriatric oncology in France and other countries acting through the International Society of Geriatric Oncology. Droz was an attending physician at the Léon-Bérard Comprehensive Cancer Centre and professor of medical oncology at the Claude-Bernard-Lyon 1 University in Lyon, France. Now in retirement, he is an attending physician of medical oncology in hospitals in French Guiana and teaches at the French Guiana and West Indies University Medical School.

  • Allen Lichter will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award. Lichter served as ASCO’s chief executive officer from 2006 to 2016, has held two significant leadership roles at the University of Michigan, including chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and dean of the Medical School, and was the director of the Radiation Therapy Section of the NCI’s Radiation Oncology Branch. Lichter’s research at NCI helped advance the use of lumpectomy plus radiation as an alternative to mastectomy in the local management of breast cancer and his work at Michigan established the clinical utility of three-dimensional treatment planning and conformal dose delivery.

  • Lowell Schnipper will receive the Special Recognition Award. Schnipper is a clinician-scientist and medical educator, is the Theodore W. and Evelyn G. Berenson Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, the immediate past clinical director, Cancer Center, and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. As the founding chief of oncology at the Beth Israel Hospital, he and his colleagues developed a highly sought after training program focusing on clinical and translational research. Schnipper’s research interests range from bench to bedside and have contributed to the understanding of the mechanism of action and resistance to antiviral and anti-neoplastic therapies, genomic instability in cancer, and most recently, quality and value in cancer care.

  • Ross Donehower will receive the Excellence in Teaching Award. Donehower has led the hematology oncology fellowship program at Johns Hopkins University. Donehower has spent more than 30 years at Hopkins and currently serves as the Ludwig Professor of Clinical Investigation in Cancer.

  • Susan Weiner will receive the Partners in Progress Award. Weiner is the founder and director of The Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy. Throughout her career, she has acted as an advocate for young patients with cancer and their families by pressing for innovative and efficient pediatric oncology drug development, early clinical trials, and quality care for survivors of childhood cancer. • Olufunmilayo Olopade will receive the Humanitarian Award. Olopafe is a medical oncologist and internationally renowned expert in breast cancer, serves as Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at The University of Chicago. Her laboratory research is focused on defining molecular mechanisms of cancer through studies of genetic and nongenetic factors contributing to tumor progression in at-risk individuals from diverse populations.

  • The Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award will go to Mary Gospodarowicz the medical director at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and regional vice president of Cancer Care Ontario, and Elizabeth Shpall, director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory and Cord Blood Bank, and deputy chair of the stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Gospodarowicz recently served as president for the Union for International Cancer Control. Her research interests focus on the role of radiation therapy in lymphomas, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and testis cancer clinical trials. Shpall has served as the founding president for the Foundation of Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and as past president of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

The Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology distinction goes to:

  • Robert Bast

  • Monica Bertagnolli

  • Linda Bosserman

  • George Browman

  • Ezra Cohen

  • Michael Fisch

  • James Frame

  • James Ford

  • Timothy Gilligan

  • Shawn Dana Glisson

  • David Graham

  • Stephen Grubbs

  • Melissa Hudson

  • Arti Hurria

  • Paul Jacobsen

  • Kim Allyson Margolin

  • Jeffrey Meyerhardt

  • Tony Mok

  • Howard Ozer

  • Edith Perez

  • Abram Recht

  • Steven Rosen

  • Hope Rugo

  • Howard Sandler

  • Charles Shapiro

  • Frances Shepherd

  • Catherine Van Poznak

  • Jaap Verweij

  • Katherine Virgo

  • Jeffery Ward

  • Dan Sayam Zuckerman

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