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ASCO Honors Leaders in Cancer Care With 2018 Special Awards

Awards and Lectures to Be Presented at 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting


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ASCO and ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation are proud to recognize the winners of ASCO’s Special Awards and Conquer Cancer’s Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Awards. The recipients of these awards include researchers, patient advocates, and global oncology leaders who have worked to transform cancer care around the world. Find up-to-date program information about the ASCO Annual Meeting award presentations and lectures at am.asco.org and in the iPlanner.

“These oncology leaders’ remarkable contributions are improving care for people with cancer on a global scale,” said Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee. “We are delighted to honor these inspiring honorees with ASCO’s most prestigious awards for their leadership and exceptional service, and for making a difference in cancer care.”

David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture

Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research at the University of Chicago. He made discoveries in basic mechanisms of signal transduction and gene expression following radiation exposure that led to translational investigations of radio-inducible gene therapy and the integration of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. With Dr. Samuel Hellman, he proposed the spectrum theory of metastasis; this concept resulted in the administration of curative regional therapy to those patients with oligometastatic disease. 

Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture

Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP, FASCO, is Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson). For more than 40 years, his oncology career has focused on clinical and translational research, teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists, and academic leadership. He is a Past President of ASCO and is one of the world’s leading authorities on the management of breast cancer. 

Science of Oncology Award and Lecture

Douglas Lowy, MD, is Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology in the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI, Dr. Lowy’s research includes the biology of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and the regulation of normal and neoplastic cell growth. His laboratory, in close collaboration with Dr. John T. Schiller, was involved in the initial development, characterization, and clinical testing of preventive virus-like particle-based HPV vaccines, which are now used in the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved HPV vaccines. 

ASCO–American Cancer Society Award and Lecture

Karen H. Lu, MD, is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer ad interim at MD Anderson. She is Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine and holds the J. Taylor Wharton Distinguished Chair in Gynecologic Oncology. She is a national leader in the cancer genetics field and has published seminal articles on hereditary gynecologic cancers. She serves as Principal Investigator of the NCI-sponsored Uterine Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence.

Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture 

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FASCO, is Senior Vice President and Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, President and Executive Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Head of the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington. She has published key findings on the role of hormone response and epigenetics in breast cancer and helped to guide several important national clinical trials of new therapies for breast cancer. 

Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture

Gregory Reaman, MD, FASCO, is Associate Director for Oncology Sciences in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Associate Director (acting) for Pediatric Oncology in the Oncology Center of Excellence at the FDA, and Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is known for his extensive work in the biology and treatment of childhood acute leukemia and new drug development for pediatric cancers. 

B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology

Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Director of the Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly Clinic at the University of Rochester/Highland Hospital, and a member of the University of Rochester NCI Community Oncology Research Program Research Base. Her research interests include the evaluation of patterns of care, health outcomes, and quality of life related to cancer treatment in older patients. 

Distinguished Achievement Award

John Mendelsohn, MD, is the L.E. & Virginia Simmons Senior Fellow in the Division of Health and Technology Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute, as well as Director of the Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and Professor of Genomic Medicine at MD Anderson. His research in the laboratory and in the clinic—including the development of cetuximab—led to the development of an entirely new class of agents that have transformed cancer treatment by targeting tumors based on their genetic and molecular aberrations.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Gregory P. Kalemkerian, MD, FACP, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology; Associate Division Chief for Faculty Development and Education; Associate Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program; and Disease Group Leader for the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Team at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Kalemkerian has devoted a significant amount of his professional career to training future medical oncologists and has been recognized by trainees for his exceptional ability to convey clinical information in ways that are relevant and lasting.

Partners in Progress Award

Danielle Leach, MPA, is Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations at St. Baldrick’s Foundation. She founded the Mason Leach Superstar Fund at Children’s National Medical Center and the American Childhood Cancer Organization in memory of her son, Mason, who died of pediatric brain cancer in 2007. Ms. Leach is a pending appointment to the NCI Council of Research Advocates, as well as a member of the National Cancer Institute Pediatric and Adolescent Solid Tumor Steering Committee. She served on the Pediatric Cancer Working Group of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, led by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Public Service Award

Gideon M. Blumenthal, MD, is Deputy Office Director (acting) of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products and Associate Director for Precision Oncology in the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. He has been instrumental in coordinating the efficient review and subsequent approval of several breakthrough targeted therapies and immunotherapies for cancer and has led several key policy initiatives to advance the fields of precision oncology and targeted drug development.

Humanitarian Award

Julie Gralow, MD, FASCO, is the Jill Bennett Endowed Professor of Breast Medical Oncology and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine; a member of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She is Medical Director and team physician for Team Survivor Northwest, a nonprofit focused on helping female cancer survivors improve their health through exercise; Founder of the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network, a group dedicated to empowering patient advocates in low- and middle-income countries; and Co-Chair of the Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5, a global campaign to reduce disparities in breast cancer care.

Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award

Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, is Professor With Tenure of Radiation Oncology and Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the use of radiotherapy in the multimodality treatment of breast cancer with emphasis on cardiac sparing in treatment planning, preclinical and clinical studies of radiation sensitizers with radiotherapy, and outcomes following radiation in women with breast cancer who carry a BRCA1/2 susceptibility gene. 

International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award

Rejin Kebudi, MD, is Professor in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine and the Istanbul University, Oncology Institute. She served on the board of the Istanbul University, Oncology Institute and as Director of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Division. Dr. Kebudi has successfully mentored residents, fellows, and junior faculty over the past 25 years and has ensured that they make progress in their career.

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. 

  • Clement Adebayo Adebamowo, MD, ScD
  • David J. Adelstein, MD, FACP
  • Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD
  • Jaffer A. Ajani, MD
  • Kenneth Carl Anderson, MD
  • Christopher G. Azzoli, MD
  • Jordan Berlin, MD
  • Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH
  • J. Sybil Biermann, MD
  • Michael Russell Bishop, MD, FACP
  • William Blackstock, MD
  • Paul Celano, MD
  • Walter John Curran, MD, FACR
  • Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP
  • Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP
  • Laura Esserman, MD, MBA
  • Christopher Flowers, MD, MS
  • Giuseppe Giaccone, MD, PhD
  • Jill Gilbert, MD
  • Susan Halabi, PhD
  • Lyndsay Harris, MD
  • James Hayman, MD, MBA
  • Carolyn B. Hendricks, MD
  • Martee Leigh Hensley, MD
  • Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, FACP
  • Sharon Hermes Giordano, MD
  • Paul Joseph Hesketh, MD
  • Paulo Marcelo Hoff, MD, FACP, PhD
  • James N. Ingle, MD
  • Sundar Jagannath, MD
  • Mohammad Jahanzeb, MD
  • Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD
  • Beth Karlan, MD
  • James L. Khatcheressian, MD
  • Alok A. Khorana, MD
  • Hedy L. Kindler, MD
  • Andrew H. Ko, MD
  • Natasha B. Leighl, MD
  • Andrew Loblaw, MD
  • Jennifer Malin, MD, PhD
  • Bruce D. Minsky, MD
  • Beverly Moy, MD
  • Craig R. Nichols, MD, FACP
  • Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH 
  • Mark S. Pascal, MD
  • Jyoti D. Patel, MD
  • Blase N. Polite, MD, MPA
  • Thomas G. Roberts, MD
  • Howard I. Scher, MD
  • Gary K. Schwartz, MD
  • Manish A. Shah, MD
  • Lawrence N. Shulman, MD
  • Mary Lou Smith, JD, MBA
  • Philip J. Stella, MD
  • James A. Stewart, MD
  • John W. Sweetenham, MD, FRCP
  • Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD
  • Anthony W. Tolcher, MD
  • Timothy Joseph Whelan, MD 
  • Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD
  • Marie Wood, MD
  • Antoinette J. Wozniak, MD 

Generous support was provided by the American Cancer Society for the ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture; GlaxoSmithKline Oncology for the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture; Eisai Inc., for the International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award; and Hologic, Inc, for the Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award.■

Originally published in ASCO Connection. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “ASCO Honors Leaders in Cancer Care With 2018 Special Awards.” ASCO Connection, May 2018. All rights reserved.


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