AACR is honoring elite group with scientific achievement awards and lectureships


The AACR will honor the following cancer researchers, physician-scientists, advocates, and journalists for their achievements during the Annual Meeting.

AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research

Carl H. June, MD, FAACR
Carl H. June, MD, FAACR

Carl H. June, MD, FAACR

This award was established to honor individuals who have made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a collective body of work. These contributions, whether in research, leadership, or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.

June is being honored for revolutionary contributions to developing the first gene-edited, cell-based therapy for cancer that involves the genetic re-engineering of a patient’s own T cells to combat their disease, and for demonstrating that adoptive T-cell therapy can induce remission and in some cases cure patients with advanced cancer.

June will present his award lecture at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Valencia D at the convention center.


AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research

Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD
Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD

Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD

This award recognizes an early-career investigator for meritorious achievements in basic cancer research.

Wellen is being honored for instrumental contributions to delineating the fundamental links between cellular metabolism, epigenome regulation, and cancer onset and progression, including her identification of the link between PI3K/AKT signaling and AKT-dependent ATP-citrate lyase phosphorylation, resulting in elevated histone acetylation and upregulation of cancer cell adhesion and migration genes.

Wellen will present her award lecture at 5:15 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Room W312 at the convention center.


AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Blood Cancer Research

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR
Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR

This award recognizes an individual on the basis of their meritorious achievements and contributions to any aspect of blood cancer research.

Dalla-Favera is being honored for fundamental discoveries dedicated to characterizing the genetic drivers of human B-cell lymphomas and for uncovering new avenues for cancer prevention and therapy that have been routinely exploited clinically for the diagnosis and determination of novel therapeutic strategies for B-cell lymphoma.

Dalla-Favera will present his award lecture at 3:45 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 18, in Room W311 E-H at the convention center.


AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research

Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD
Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD

Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD

This award is presented for outstanding, novel, and significant chemistry research that has led to important contributions in basic cancer research, translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, the prevention of cancer, or the treatment of patients with cancer.

Bertozzi, the recipient of the 2022 Nobel Prize in chemistry, is being honored for groundbreaking contributions to the development of bioorthogonal chemistry, profiling cell-surface glycosylation alterations commonly associated with cancer, inflammation, and bacterial infection, and for spearheading the development of novel diagnostic probes for the study of cancer-immune cell interactions and immunotherapy development.

Bertozzi will present her award lecture at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Tangerine Ballroom 3-4 (WF3-4) at the convention center.


AACR Daniel D. Von Hoff Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Cancer Research

Polly A. Newcomb, PhD, MPH
Polly A. Newcomb, PhD, MPH

Polly A. Newcomb, PhD, MPH

This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the education and training of cancer scientists and physicians at any career level and in any area of cancer research.

Newcomb is being honored for her tireless support of cancer education and training, highlighted by her many years of mentorship and encouragement of countless graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-stage investigators, including underrepresented minority researcher populations in the cancer research field.


AACR Distinguished Public Service Award for Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Advocacy

Phyllis Pettit Nassi, MSW
Phyllis Pettit Nassi, MSW

Phyllis Pettit Nassi, MSW
Jane Perlmutter, PhD, MBA

This award recognizes individuals whose extraordinary work has exemplified the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy, advocacy, and funding for cancer research.

Pettit Nassi is being honored for longstanding commitment as a patient advocate for American Indian tribes and for an unwavering commitment to improving health literacy and clinical trial enrollment among American Indian populations that has profoundly impacted these underserved communities and drastically improved their quality of life and access to cancer care.

Jane Perlmutter, PhD, MBA
Jane Perlmutter, PhD, MBA

Perlmutter is being honored for unparalleled leadership as a patient advocate, partly through AACR’s Scientist↔Survivor Program, and dedication to improving the patient experience through innovative clinical trial designs, including ISPY2; and for efforts to ensure that the patient voice is included in research and trial design, accelerating patient access to new treatments and drastically improving their quality of life and overall survivorship.

Pettit Nassi and Perlmutter will be honored during the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 8 a.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in W Hall A2-3 in the convention center.


AACR James S. Ewing-Thelma B. Dunn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pathology in Cancer Research

Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, FAACR
Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, FAACR

Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, FAACR

This award recognizes pathologists who have significantly contributed to advancing cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention and serves to underscore the AACR’s ongoing commitment to the growth and support of pathologists worldwide who are engaged in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research.

Chinnaiyan is being honored for illuminating research contributions to defining the links between chromosomal abnormalities and cancer, including his discovery of TMPRSS2-ETS gene fusions in prostate cancer, and for pioneering the use of pathological and bioinformatic methodologies to diagnose and track prostate cancer onset and progression.

Chinnaiyan will present his award lecture at 5:15 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 18, in Tangerine Ballroom 2 (WF2) at the convention center.


AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, FAACR
Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, FAACR

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, FAACR

This award recognizes a true champion of cancer research whose leadership and extraordinary achievements in cancer research have had a major impact on the field. Such achievements may include contributions to the acceleration of progress against cancer, raising national or international awareness of the importance of cancer research, or other ways of demonstrating a sustained extraordinary commitment to cancer research.

Jaffee is being honored for exceptional leadership, pioneering research discoveries, and an extraordinary record of service to the cancer community that includes the development of innovative approaches to antigen discovery, which have resulted in the identification of two novel pancreatic cancer proteins, mesothelin and annexin A2, that are promising targets for immunotherapy.

Jaffee will present her award lecture at 4:45 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Tangerine Ballroom 2 (WF2) at the convention center.


AACR Team Science Award

Camile Ragin, PhD, MPH
Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH

African Caribbean Cancer Consortium Team

This award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or likely will advance our fundamental knowledge of cancer, or a team that has applied existing knowledge to advance the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer.

The African Caribbean Cancer Consortium Team is being honored for collective contributions to addressing cancer and health disparities by furthering the study of viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer in patient populations of African descent that have demonstrated far-reaching implications for the improvement of cancer etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in Black patient populations worldwide.

Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH – Team Leader
Kellie Alleyne-Mike, MD
Kimlin T. Ashing, PhD
Aviane Auguste, PhD
Rishika Banydeen, MPH
Raleigh Butler, MD
Samuel Gathere, MD
Sophia George, PhD
Natalie S. Greaves, PhD
Tamara Green, MD
Darron A.C. Halliday, MD
Maria D. Jackson, PhD
Patricia D. Jones, MD
Rukia Kibaya, MSc
Evans Kiptanui, MS
Anne C. R. Korir, MPH
Delroy M. Louden, PhD
Valerie Odero-Marah, PhD
JoAnn S. Oliver, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN
Veronica Roach, SRN, SCM
Robin Roberts, MD
Samuel T. Slewion, MA
Charles G. Waihenya, MD
Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, PhD, MPH

The team will be honored during the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 8 a.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in W Hall A2-3 in the convention center.


AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Patricia A. Ganz, MD
Patricia A. Ganz, MD, FAACR

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, FAACR

This award recognizes outstanding research accomplishments in cancer epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention.

Ganz is being honored for steadfast commitment to enhancing cancer prevention, characterizing late effects of cancer treatment, and instrumental contributions to improving the field of cancer patient survivorship through advocacy efforts to establish guideline and policy changes that have positively impacted cancer patient symptom management, supportive care, and quality of life.

Ganz will present her award lecture at 4:15 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Room W312 at the convention center.


AACR-Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology

E. John Wherry III, PhD
E. John Wherry III, PhD

E. John Wherry III, PhD

This award recognizes an active scientist whose outstanding and innovative research has had a major impact on the cancer field and has the potential to stimulate new directions in cancer immunology.

Wherry is being honored for essential cancer immunology research findings dedicated to defining the genetic and epigenetic control mechanisms of T cell exhaustion that have contributed to the elucidation of PDL-1 blockade and helped guide the development of immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients, including several FDA-approved checkpoint inhibitor therapies for multiple cancer indications.

Wherry will present his award lecture at 3:30 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Tangerine Ballroom 2 (WF2) at the convention center.


AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research

M. Celeste Simon, PhD
M. Celeste Simon, PhD, FAACR

M. Celeste Simon, PhD, FAACR

This award is intended to recognize an individual who has made outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research.

Simon is being honored for lauded research contributions that have informed the understanding of cancer metabolism, oxygen biology, and tumor hypoxia resulting in the development of murine cancer models and the elucidation of the role of hypoxia-inducible factor-2 alpha in tumorigenesis, which has since led to the development of the FDA-approved therapeutic belzutifan for the treatment of Von Hippel-Lindau disease-associated renal cell carcinoma.

Simon will present her award lecture at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Room 311 E-H at the convention center.


AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship

Andrea Schietinger, PhD
Andrea Schietinger, PhD

Andrea Schietinger, PhD

This award acknowledges an individual whose outstanding personal innovation in science and whose position as a thought leader in fields relevant to cancer research has the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research. The recipient is selected by the AACR President.

Schietinger is being honored for unparalleled contributions to elucidating the fundamental cellular mechanisms of immune evasion, including demonstrating how antigen-specific T cells evade immune-suppressive mechanisms in normal tissues, which has subsequently fueled the development of innovative strategies for molecular and immune-based targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer.

Schietinger will present her award lecture at 4:45 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 18, in Room W331 at the convention center.


AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research

Melissa M. Hudson, MD
Melissa M. Hudson, MD

Melissa M. Hudson, MD

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research.

Hudson is being honored for unrivaled clinical research involving hematological malignancies affecting children, adolescents, and young adults that have led to the establishment of the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study. This ongoing study catalogs comprehensive clinical data from over 6,000 five-year survivors of pediatric cancer, information that continues to be translated into practice-changing guidelines for pediatric cancer survivors.

Hudson will present her award lecture at 3 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Room W312 at the convention center.


AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD
Selwyn M. Vickers, MD

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD

This lectureship recognizes an outstanding scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of minority investigators in cancer research.

Vickers is being honored for his celebrated contributions to the understanding and targeting of pancreas cancer metastasis, including work that has assisted with the development of minnelide, a pro-drug of triptolide for the treatment of pancreas and gastrointestinal cancers that is currently in phase II clinical trials. He is also being recognized for his steadfast commitment to leading research dedicated to understanding how to eliminate cancer and health disparities.

Vickers will present his award lecture at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Room W312 at the convention center.


AACR-Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship

Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, FAACR
Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, FAACR

Robert D. Schreiber, PhD, FAACR

This award recognizes an individual scientist whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the detection, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer, and who embodies the dedication of Princess Takamatsu to multinational collaborations.

Schreiber is being honored for indelible research findings that have led to an improved understanding of immune surveillance in cancer pathogenesis, including the definition of the physiologic roles and mechanisms of action of Type I interferon and Interferon gamma in cancer-associated immune responses, and for establishing the concept of “immunoediting” that has since fueled the development of cancer immunotherapeutics.

Schreiber will present his award lecture at 5:30 p.m. ET Monday, April 17, in Tangerine Ballroom 3-4 (WF3-4) at the convention center.


AACR-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pediatric Cancer Research

Olivier Delattre MD, PhD
Olivier Delattre, MD, PhD

Olivier Delattre, MD, PhD

This award recognizes an individual in any sector who has significantly contributed to any area of pediatric cancer research, resulting in the fundamental improvement of the understanding and/or treatment of pediatric cancer.

Delattre is being honored for paramount research dedicated to identifying the genetic drivers of pediatric cancer, including demonstrating the role of the EWS-FLI1 translocation in the onset of Ewing sarcoma and further characterizing the role of various somatic mutations in the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma and other pediatric solid tumors.

Delattre will present his award lecture at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 18, in Room W304 E-H at the convention center.


AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research

Jun J. Yang, PhD
Jun J. Yang, PhD

Jun J. Yang, PhD

This award recognizes a worthy cancer researcher who has conducted highly meritorious translational and clinical cancer research anywhere in the world and who has not yet reached 51 years of age at the time of the award presentation.

Yang is being honored for his inspiring contributions to genomic studies dedicated to analyzing therapeutic response rates in multiethnic pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient populations, which have resulted in the identification of a large number of genomic loci responsible for driving therapeutic response variability. These findings are now being leveraged to predict treatment efficacy and toxicity in pediatric cancer populations.

Yang will present his award lecture at 4 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Room W311 E-H at the convention center.


AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Lectureship

Cory Abate-Shen, PhD
Cory Abate-Shen, PhD

Cory Abate-Shen, PhD

This award is presented to an outstanding scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of women in science.

Abate-Shen is being honored for her pioneering research dedicated to discovering and defining the role of NKX3.1 as a master regulator of prostate differentiation and cancer initiation and progression, for generating unique and reliable murine bladder and prostate cancer models, and for steadfast commitment to serving as a leader, mentor, and supporter of female cancer researchers.

Abate-Shen will present her award lecture at 4 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Room 312 at the convention center.


Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research

Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR
Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR

Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR

This award is presented to a scientist of international renown who has made a scientific discovery in basic or translational cancer research.

Mak is being honored for fundamental contributions to the fields of immunology, cancer biology, and cancer therapy, including cloning the beta chain of the human T-cell receptor and creating genetically modified mouse strains to elucidate the role of the immune system in tumorigenesis. He also characterized two novel kinases, PLK4 and TTK, now promising targets in phase II clinical trials, and CTLA-4, a negative regulator of T-cell activation, later applied to the development of immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

Mak will present his award lecture at 12 p.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in Room W414 at the convention center.


AACR June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism

This award is presented to professional journalists who have produced accurate, informative, and compelling stories about cancer and cancer research. The award is named after June L. Biedler, PhD, a distinguished scientist and dedicated member of the AACR, who cared deeply about educating the lay public about the importance of cancer research.

The winners of the 2023 AACR June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism are:

Auditory Journalism

Greg Munteanu
Sarah Jane Tribble
Taunya English

No Mercy Chapter 5: With Rural Hospital Gone, Cancer Care Means a Daylong Trek

Greg Munteanu, BA
Greg Munteanu
Sarah Jane Tribble, BS
Sarah Jane Tribble
Taunya English, MS
Taunya English

Magazine

Sarah Elizabeth Richards
One Man’s Search for the DNA Data That Could Save His Life

Emily Sohn
Detecting Cancer Using Limited Resources

Sarah E. Richards, MS, MA
Sarah Elizabeth Richards
Emily Sohn, BA
Emily Sohn

Newspaper

David Oliver
They found a lump. Doctors said not to worry. These are the stories of men with breast cancer.

David Oliver
David Oliver

Online/Multimedia

Ali Al Ibrahim
With Bab Al Hawa Border Closed, Syrians Are Deprived of Cancer Treatment

Angus Chen
The Trust-Builder: A Cancer Center Director’s Try-It-All Strategy for Breaking the Barriers Between Research and Black Patients

Nicholas St. Fleur
Chadwick Boseman’s Tragedy is America’s Tragedy: In Colorectal Cancer Hot Spots, Young Men Are Dying at Higher Rates

Ali Al Ibrahim
Ali Al Ibrahim
Angus Chen
Angus Chen
Nicholas St. Fleur
Nicholas St. Fleur

The winners of the AACR June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism will be honored during the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 8 a.m. ET Sunday, April 16, in W Hall A2-3 in the convention center.

Claim Your CME/MOC Credits for the Annual MeetinG

Access to the AACR Annual Meeting 2023 virtual meeting platform and all on-demand sessions is available through July 19, 2023. To claim CME/MOC credits for qualified sessions, visit the AACR Continuing Medication Education page. Questions? Contact the AACR Office of CME at (215) 440-9300 or via e-mail at [email protected].