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2012 Special Award Recipients Announced

Mar 20, 2012

Today, ASCO announced the recipients of 2012 Special Awards. These 11 awards recognize researchers, patient advocates, and leaders of the global oncology community who, through their work in the fields of clinical oncology, cancer research, or public and government advocacy, have made significant contributions to enhancing cancer care.

David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture
Kanti R. Rai, MB, BS

Dr. Rai is Chief of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research and Treatment Program at North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System and the Joel Finkelstein Cancer Foundation Professor of Medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, where he also holds the title Professor of Molecular Medicine. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in the treatment of leukemia in adults. An investigator with The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Dr. Rai is known for establishing the Rai clinical staging system for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which is based on an analysis of how the body is affected by the abnormal lymphocytes. He has served on the ASCO Clinical Practice Committee.

Science of Oncology Award and Lecture
Rakesh K. Jain, PhD

Dr. Jain is the A. W. Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) at Harvard Medical School and Director of E. L. Steele Laboratory of Tumor Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. By combining his extensive expertise and experience in engineering, mathematics, tumor biology, and physiology, Dr. Jain has created a novel approach to cancer research that is not only innovative but also virtually unique in the world. He has developed an array of cutting-edge imaging technologies as well as sophisticated animal and mathematical models, and exploited them in extraordinarily elegant ways. This undertaking has provided unprecedented molecular, cellular, anatomical, and functional insights into tumor barriers and how to overcome them. Dr. Jain has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture
Rowan T. Chlebowski, MD, PhD

Dr. Chlebowski is Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and conducts research at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He has been involved in full-scale clinical trials addressing issues related to breast cancer prevention and therapy and women’s health. He reported results of the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WIINS), a multicenter adjuvant trial where a lifestyle intervention reduced breast cancer recurrence. As a Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) investigator, he led reports on estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin influence on cancer endpoints where findings have substantially changed clinical use of menopausal hormone therapy worldwide with associated reduction in breast cancer incidence. Dr. Chlebowski has been Chair of the ASCO Cancer Prevention Committee, has led the ASCO Breast Cancer Chemoprevention Guideline, and participated in the ASCO Aromatase Inhibitor Technology Assessment and the ASCO Breast Cancer Bisphosphonate and Bone Health Guideline.

Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture
Monica Morrow, MD

Dr. Morrow is Chief of the Breast Surgery Service, Co-Chief of the Breast Program, and Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She is also Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her clinical interests include the application of advances from clinical trials to daily surgical practice, the evaluation of new technology related to local therapy of breast cancer, and understanding how patients make breast cancer treatment decisions. Dr. Morrow serves as Editor-in-Chief of ASCO Daily News, has served on the ASCO Board of Directors, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

B. J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology
Matti S. Aapro, MD

Dr. Aapro has been involved in the design and implementation of clinical trials in older patients since the late 1980s. He is currently Dean of the Multidisciplinary Oncology Institute in Genolier, Switzerland, and Executive Director of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Dr. Aapro serves on the Journal of Geriatric Oncology and has edited several journals focused on the care of older patients with cancer. He has also been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture
Ching-Hon Pui, MD

Dr. Pui is Chair of the Department of Oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, co-leader of the hospital’s Hematological Malignancies Program, Medical Director of the St. Jude International Outreach China Program, and holder of the Fahad Nassar Al-Rashid Chair of Leukemia Research. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Pui has been a leader in the molecular definitions of childhood leukemia and of developing clinical protocols based on those findings. Most notably, the personalized therapy introduced as a result of his research on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) helped to boost ALL cure rates at St. Jude to 90%. This personalized therapy omits cranial irradiation altogether, thus sparing patients from the devastating side effects of that treatment. Dr. Pui has served on ASCO’s Scientific Program Committee.

Distinguished Achievement Award
Robert F. Ozols, MD, PhD

Dr. Ozols is an internationally known expert in ovarian cancer and a leader in advancing chemotherapy research. He was the first Audrey Weg Schaus and Geoffrey Alan Weg Chair in Medical Science at Fox Chase Cancer Center and also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Fox Chase Cancer Center until his retirement in 2008 following two decades of service at the institution. Prior his tenure at Fox Chase, Dr. Ozols was head the Experimental Therapeutics Section of the Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute. His research has focused on how cancer cells develop drug resistance and on strategies for overcoming resistance. He has developed new clinical approaches to treating women with ovarian cancer, including chemotherapy regimens that combine paclitaxel and carboplatin, as well as pharmacologic techniques to reverse resistance of tumors to anticancer drugs. Dr. Ozols has chaired ASCO’s Cancer Research Committee and Cancer Communications Committee. He was a member of the ASCO Board of Directors and is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Public Service Award
Nancy G. Brinker

Ms. Brinker, the founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, is regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement. Today, the organization has invested more than $1.9 billion in breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment. In 1983, she founded the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which is now the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. She also pioneered cause-related marketing, allowing millions to participate in the fight against breast cancer through businesses that share Komen’s commitment to end the disease forever. Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s advocacy for breast cancer survivors led to new legislation and greater government research funding. In 2009, President Barack Obama honored Ms. Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The same year, she was named Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

Partners in Progress Award
Marlo Thomas

Ms. Thomas is an award-winning actress, author, and activist. She has been honored with four Emmy Awards, the Peabody, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. She conceived, produced, and starred in television’s That Girl. Her pioneering spirit continued with her creation of Free to Be . . .You and Me, which became a platinum album, bestselling book, and an Emmy Award-winning television special. Ms. Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the driving force behind countless public awareness efforts to educate the public about the life-saving work being done there.

Special Recognition Award
David Satcher, MD, PhD

Dr. Satcher is Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. He served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Satcher served simultaneously in the positions of Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health from February 1998 through January 2001 and held the posts of Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998. Dr. Satcher has an established record of leadership, research, and community engagement in many areas of health policy, including childhood obesity and disparities in health. As Director of the CDC, he led the national effort to expand breast and cervical cancer screening programs from 18 states to all 50 states, six territories, and 15 American Indian reservations. As Surgeon General, he released the first-ever Surgeon General’s reports on mental health, suicide prevention, oral health, sexual health, and obesity.

Humanitarian Award
Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD

Dr. Mitchell is a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Medical Oncology, as well as Program Leader of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. She is also Associate Director for Diversity Programs for the Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) at Jefferson and director of the KCC Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities. Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care. Through her work, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach, especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out more conventional medical advice. She has served on ASCO’s Cancer Education Committee and Test Materials Development Committee.

Read the complete press release.
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