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2020 Awards Recognize Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care

Apr 23, 2020

Researchers, patient advocates, and global oncology leaders who have worked to transform cancer care around the world are among the recipients of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Special Awards—the Society’s highest honors—and Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Awards.  

"It is an honor to recognize the inspiring achievements of this year’s awardees, and their dedication to conquering cancer,” said Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, immediate past president of ASCO and chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee.

The 2020 Special Award Recipients are:

David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture 
George D. Demetri, MD, FASCO, is senior vice president for experimental therapeutics and director of the Sarcoma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and co-director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard. Dr. Demetri has dedicated his career to translational research aimed at understanding and treating precisely defined subsets of cancers, and he was a pioneer in the development of the imatinib as the first cancer therapy targeting gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) as a molecularly defined subset of sarcoma. 

Science of Oncology Award and Lecture 
Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, MMSc, is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-scientific director of the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, and a member of the Executive Committee for Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Jänne was one of the co-discoverers of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and he has led the development of therapeutic strategies for patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer. 

Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture
George W. Sledge Jr., MD, FASCO, is a professor and chief of the Division of Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Sledge is an expert in the areas of antiangiogenic drug development and breast cancer murine models of growth and metastasis, as well as breast cancer genomics, and has devoted much of the past two decades in the clinic to the development of novel biologic agents for breast cancer. 

ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture  
Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, is the Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is founding director of the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and leads the Cancer Outreach and Engagement activities for the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. His work has led to an understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of breast, prostate, skin, endometrial, and ovarian cancers, as well as interventions intended to reduce the burden of these cancers in individuals and populations. 

Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture  
Hyman B. Muss, MD, FASCO, is the Mary Jones Hudson Distinguished Professor of Geriatric Oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and the director of the Geriatric Oncology Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Program. He is an internationally recognized expert on the treatment of breast cancer in older patients, breast cancer survivorship, and long-term toxicity of treatment. He is exploring the role of biomarkers of aging and their potential role as predictors of toxicity and survival.  

Distinguished Achievement Award 
Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, is president of Michiana Hematology Oncology and serves on the Trinity Oncology Excellence Committee. Dr. Zon received ASCO’s Advocate of the Year Award for her health care advocacy efforts, and she has been called upon by the Institute of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, and the federal government to offer guidance and share her expertise. Dr. Zon meets with local and federal elected officials on a routine basis to promote cancer care policies. 

Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture 
Alice L. Yu, MD, PhD, is the Distinguished Chair Professor and co-director of the Institute of Stem Cell & Translational Cancer Research at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou and Chang Kung University, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Genomics Research Center of Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and a professor in pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Yu has more than 40 years of experience in developing cures and understanding the biology of childhood cancer, is a pioneer of anti-GD2 therapy, and has either led or significantly contributed to numerous clinical trials to develop novel cancer therapeutics. 

B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology 
Andrew E. Chapman, DO, FACP, is a professor of medical oncology in the Department of Medical Oncology of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and a clinical professor in Jefferson’s College of Nursing. Dr. Chapman is the chief of cancer services for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, the enterprise senior vice president of the Jefferson Health system for medical oncology, and vice chair for clinical operations for the Department of Medical Oncology. Dr. Chapman is the co-founder/co-director of the Jefferson Senior Adult Oncology Center, specializing in the multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment of older adults with cancer.  

Excellence in Teaching Award 
Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD, is the Eleanor Theresa Walters Distinguished Chair, chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, chair of the residency executive committee in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, and advisory dean and chair of career advising and mentorship at Harvard medical School. Dr. D’Amico is an internationally known expert in the treatment of prostate cancer and has defined combined modality staging.  

Partners in Progress Award 
Carlos Gil Moreira Ferreira, MD, PhD, is the chief scientific officer at Oncoclinicas, president of Oncoclinicas Institute, and chair of the Oncoclinicas Medical Board, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a lung cancer specialist and is active in oncology drug development, health policy, health economics, and health innovation. 

Humanitarian Award  
Gary W. Unzeitig, MD, FACS, is a breast surgeon and principal investigator practicing in the South Texas border community of Laredo since 1983. He is active staff at Doctors Hospital of Laredo. Dr. Unzeitig has been active in the Alliance for Clinical Trials, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as co-chair of the Health Disparities Committee, and on the Community Oncology, Breast, Prevention, and Audit Committees. 

Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture
Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, MA, CHPN, FAAN, FPCN, is the director and professor of nursing research at City of Hope Medical Center and associate director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Ferrell’s background is in palliative care, quality of life, spirituality, and oncology research. She has successfully developed and disseminated local, national, and international programs related to systems change, quality of life, symptom management, and transitions to palliative care. 

Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award 
Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS, FASCO, is a professor of medicine and epidemiology and leader of the Breast Cancer Program at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Hershman is a nationally recognized expert in breast cancer treatment, prevention, and survivorship. Her research focuses on improving cancer care delivery, reducing disparities, and improving the quality of life and quality of care of breast cancer survivors. 

International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award 
Lillian L. Siu, MD, FRCPC, FASCO, is a senior medical oncologist and clinician scientist in the Cancer Clinical Research Unit at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Siu’s primary research focus is in the area of new anticancer drug development, particularly phase I trials and head and neck malignancies. 

Fellows of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) 
The Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) distinction recognizes ASCO members for their extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment to ASCO. The following members are being recognizing in 2020: 

  • Peter Adamson, MD, FASCO 
  • Banu Arun, MD, FASCO 
  • Elizabeth Blanchard, MD, FASCO 
  • Marcia Brose, MD, PhD, FASCO 
  • David Carbone, MD PhD, FASCO 
  • Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, FASCO 
  • Anne Chiang, MD, PhD, FASCO 
  • Linus Chuang, MD, FASCO 
  • Kelly Cooke, DO, FASCO 
  • Neelima Denduluri, MD, FASCO 
  • Laurie Gaspar, MD, MBA, FASTRO, FASCO 
  • Pamela Goodwin, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FASCO 
  • Bruce Haffty, MD, FACR, FASTRO, FASCO 
  • Michael Hassett, MD, MPH, FASCO 
  • Ralph Hauke, MD, FACP, FASCO 
  • Heather Hylton, MS, FASCO 
  • Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, FASCO 
  • Jeffrey Kirshner, MD, FASCO 
  • Stuart Lichtman, MD, FACP, FASCO 
  • Jennifer Ligibel, MD, FASCO 
  • Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP, FASCO 
  • Howard McLeod, PharmD, FASCO 
  • Kathy Miller, MD, FASCO 
  • Anne Moore, MD, FASCO 
  • Kevin Oeffinger, MD, FASCO 
  • Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, FASCO 
  • Todd Pickard, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, FASCO 
  • Brian Rini, MD, FASCO 
  • Mark Robson, MD, FASCO 
  • Gabrielle Rocque, MD, FASCO 
  • Robert Siegel, MD, FASCO 
  • David Spigel, MD, FASCO 
  • Vered Stearns, MD, FASCO 
  • Keith Thompson, MD, FASCO 
  • Mary-Ellen Taplin, MD, FASCO 
  • Jeremy Warner, MD, MS, FASCO 

ASCO and Conquer Cancer acknowledge the generous support of the American Cancer Society for the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture; Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine/Association of Specialty Professors for the B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology; GlaxoSmithKline Oncology for the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture;  Walther Cancer Foundation for the Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture;  Hologic, Inc for the Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award; and Eisai Inc. for the International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award.

ASCO and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) are now co-presenters of the Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care. The Stovall Award is given annually to two recipients who have improved the care and lives of cancer survivors and their families—one health care provider and one patient advocate or advocacy organization. Learn more about the award and submit a nomination.

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