The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization established in 1953 to advance biomedical research with the goal of developing lifesaving immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, will bestow its highest honors on three scientists who have made fundamental contributions to the fields of immunology and cancer immunology.
William B. Coley Award in Tumor Immunology
Ton N. Schumacher, PhD
The Cancer Research Institute will present the 2016 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology to Ton N. Schumacher, PhD, for his contributions to our understanding of how immune cells identify and target tumor-specific neoantigens and how this capability can provide antitumor immunity. Neoantigens may represent ideal immunotherapy targets, as they are solely expressed on tumor cells. Dr. Schumacher was the first to develop a technology for high-throughput analysis of immune cell reactivity to cancer neoantigens.
Dr. Schumacher is a senior member of the Department of Immunology of The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, a member of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council, and a CRI-SU2C Cancer Immunology Dream Team grantee.
William B. Coley Award in Basic Immunology
Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD
Receiving the 2016 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology is Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD, for his work on immune cell differentiation and his contributions to the identification and biology of unique immune cell subsets and their underlying interaction with the microbiome. He discovered the key regulator of Th17 immune cell differentiation and was the first to identify a bacterial species that induces differentiation of these Th17 cells. A greater understanding of this regulator will allow for the development of novel treatments for cancer as well as inflammatory diseases.
Dr. Littman is the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology, Professor of Pathology and Microbiology, and a faculty member in the Molecular Pathogenesis program in the Skirball Institute for Biomedical Research at the New York University School of Medicine.
Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology
E. John Wherry, PhD
The Cancer Research Institute will also present the 2016 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology to E. John Wherry, PhD. The award honors a former CRI Irvington postdoctoral fellow whose research in academia or industry has had a major impact in the field of immunology. Dr. Wherry, a CRI Irvington postdoctoral fellow from 2000 to 2003 at Emory University, is currently Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Institute for Immunology at Perelman School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. His discoveries include insights into how changes in gene expression affect T-cell exhaustion, a waning of immune function that occurs in response to chronic viral infection and cancer. ■