ASCO Honors Leaders in Cancer Care With 2019 Special Awards


ASCO and ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation proudly recognize the winners of ASCO’s Special Awards, the Society's highest honors, and Conquer Cancer's Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Awards. The recipients of these awards have worked to transform cancer care around the world. ASCO will recognize this year’s awardees at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.

“This year’s awardees truly embody ASCO’s focus on making a difference in cancer care,” said Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, Immediate Past President of ASCO and Chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee. “It is an honor to recognize their impressive and enduring achievements with ASCO’s highest awards.”

The 2019 Special Awards Recipients are:

David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture
Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, MACP, FASCO, is Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His career, which spans more than 40 years, has focused on clinical and translational research, as well as teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists and academic leadership. He is a Past President of ASCO.

Science of Oncology Award and Lecture
Joan S. Brugge, PhD, is the Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard. She has made significant contributions to the understanding of tumorigenesis—initially through the first identification of the viral Src oncogene and cellular processes that were regulated by its cellular homologue—and subsequently through critical investigations into the cellular processes and pathways that are involved in the normal development of breast cells, as well as breast cancer initiation and progression. Her recent research has focused on cellular responses that lead to treatment resistance and strategies to overcome resistance.

Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture
Norman Wolmark, MD, FACS, is Medical Director of Surgery and Cancer Program Development at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Department of Surgery and Cancer Institute. He is Chair of NSABP Foundation and Chair and Principal Investigator of NRG Oncology. Dr. Wolmark’s nearly 45-year tenure as a cancer researcher has been devoted to the evolution of large randomized clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of breast and bowel cancers.

ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture 
Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, FASCO, is the Susan F. Smith Chair and Chief of the Division of Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She conducts research in clinical cancer genetics (with a focus on breast cancer genetics) and has played a major role in the development of national guidelines in cancer genetics. Her translational research focuses on the evaluation of novel agents targeting DNA repair defects in breast cancer.

Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture
Ian F. Tannock, MD, PhD, FASCO, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Medical Biophysics at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto, Canada. His clinical expertise is in genitourinary and breast cancer. His research investigated methods related to cancer clinical trials, and he chaired trials for men with metastatic prostate cancer that led to licensing of drugs that are now used worldwide in the treatment of this disease. He is a past member of the ASCO Board of Directors.

Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture
James R. Downing, MD,
 is President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His work is focused on understanding the genetic basis of cancer in order to improve the treatment of children with cancer. He was instrumental in launching the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, which has sequenced the normal and cancer genomes of more than 800 young patients with some of the least understood and most aggressive tumors.

B.J. Kennedy Award and Lecture for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology
Elisabeth Quoix, MD, is Professor of Pneumonology in the Department of Chest Diseases of the University Hospital of Strasbourg, France. Her clinical work focuses on the diagnosis and management of lung cancer. She is currently involved as an investigator or coordinator in several trials investigating treatment strategies in lung cancer, with a special focus on elderly patients, as well as in early-phase trials of novel agents for lung cancer. She is also involved in epidemiological studies of the implementation of diagnosis and treatment techniques among the general population of patients with lung cancer.

Ellen L. Stovall Award and Lecture for Advancement of Cancer Survivorship Care
Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, FASCO,
 is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she serves as Director of the Adult Survivorship Program and leads the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. She established and serves as principal investigator for the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Study. Dr. Partridge and her team have characterized a range of issues of young breast cancer survivors, including the impact of treatment on fertility; adherence with hormonal therapy; psychological adaptation to the diagnosis, including impact of treatment on sexual functioning; and factors that play an important role in patient decision-making. More recently, she has collaborated to develop and study interventions to improve outcomes in young adult cancer survivors, and worked with basic investigators to identify molecular differences in tumors found in young patients and potential biomarkers of long-term effects. 

Distinguished Achievement Award
Robert J. Mayer, MD, FASCO, is Faculty Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Senior Physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital; and the Stephen B. Kay Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he is also Faculty Associate Dean for Admissions. He directed the institute's Medical Oncology Fellowship Program for 36 years, overseeing the training of several hundred oncologists. Dr. Mayer established the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Past President of ASCO and current member of the Conquer Cancer Board of Directors.

Excellence in Teaching Award
Natasha B. Leighl, MD, MMSc, FRCPC, FASCO, is a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She leads the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Thoracic Medical Oncology Group, and holds the combined hospital/university OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation Chair in Cancer New Drug Development. She has mentored many oncology trainees that have gone on to leadership roles in oncology around the world. Dr. Leighl’s main interests are in developing new treatments in lung cancer and outcomes research, including pharmacoeconomics; she has led several international and cooperative group studies in lung cancer.

Partners in Progress Award
Connie M. Szczepanek, RN, BSN, CCRP, is Director of the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan (CRCWM). After losing her sister to breast cancer, Ms. Szczepanek became involved in cancer prevention research—including the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial and STAR trial—and active in community, state, and national initiatives to facilitate cancer awareness and clinical trials education; promote cancer screening; and link patients to health services. At CRCWM, she directs the group’s NCORP grant, and works to reduce barriers to clinical trials so that every member of the community can access cancer clinical trials where they live.

Humanitarian Award
Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, FACP, FASCO, is Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, where he is also the Deputy Director for Clinical Services of the Abramson Cancer Center and Director of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine. A specialist in the treatment of patients with breast cancer, his research includes development of new cancer therapies and implementation of cancer treatment programs in low-resource settings. Dr. Shulman serves as Senior Oncology Advisor to the nonprofit organization Partners in Health (PIH), where he plays a leadership role in the establishment of national cancer treatment programs with the Ministries of Health in Rwanda and Haiti. He sits on the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Council for Rwanda’s University for Global Health Equity. He is involved in the development of the national oncology program in Botswana through the Botswana-UPenn Partnership.

Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award
Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, FASCO, is the C. Willard Robinson Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and program leader for the Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies Program at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schuchter’s clinical and clinical research focuses on melanoma, with a particular interest in novel therapies for advanced disease. Dr. Schuchter has a strong commitment to and passion for mentorship, especially women. She has, by example and through her leadership, worked to promote and pave the way for women at Penn and for women and men in oncology.

International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award
Verna Vanderpuye, MBChB, is a senior consultant at the National Center for Radiotherapy, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Korlebu Teaching Hospital, Ghana, affiliated with the University of Ghana, Accra. Her interests are in breast, sarcoma, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal cancers, as well as cancer management in Africa. She is the pioneer female oncologist in the West African region, and has mentored many regional and international young cancer professionals from their training through midcareer. Her holistic, whole-patient philosophy has resulted in improved quality of life—even in the face of limited resources—while at the same time prompting research opportunities and developing cost-effective, pragmatic approaches to the implementation of new evidence.

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 recognized in 2019:

  • Thomas M. Beck, MD
  • Lisa A. Carey, MD
  • David Cella, PhD
  • Adam P. Dicker, MD, PhD
  • Melissa S. Dillmon, MD
  • Cathy Eng, MD, FACP
  • Matt D. Galsky, MD
  • Tara O. Henderson, MD, MPH
  • Norah Lynn Henry, MD, PhD
  • Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FAAHPM
  • Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, FRCPC
  • Edward S. Kim, MD
  • Gilberto Lopes, MD, MBA
  • Robert G. Maki, MD, PhD, FACP
  • Wells A. Messersmith, MD, FACP
  • Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS
  • Joanne E. Mortimer, MD
  • Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI
  • Debra A. Patt, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD
  • Sonali M. Smith, MD
  • Donald L. Trump, MD
  • Heather A. Wakelee, MD
  • Tracey Weisberg, MD
  • Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.