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Douglas R. Lowy, MD, FAACR, Honored With 2021 AACR–Margaret Foti Award


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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) presented Douglas R. Lowy, MD, FAACR, with the 2021 AACR–Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research during the virtual AACR Annual Meeting 2021.

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, FAACR

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, FAACR

Dr. Lowy is Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Head of the Signaling and Oncogenesis Section, and Principal Deputy Director at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He was honored for his exceptional leadership at the NCI since 2010; his seminal research, which contributed to the development of three human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and his contributions to the National Institutes of Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)

“Dr. Lowy’s commitment to public service and public health is highly commendable,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “His leadership and scientific accomplishments have undoubtedly saved lives. As a result of his research, we have highly effective HPV vaccines that can prevent several types of cancer. Moreover, his work at the NCI as Principal Deputy Director and previously as Acting Director has helped the agency to remain at the forefront of cancer research and care. We congratulate Dr. Lowy on receiving this honor.”

Groundbreaking Achievements at the NCI

Dr. Lowy is known for his trailblazing research on the molecular biology of the RAS oncogene; elucidation of the molecular genetics of papillomaviruses; and, in partnership with John T. Schiller, PhD, the development of the immunogenic L1 virus-like particle technology that underpins three FDA-approved HPV vaccines. These vaccines have led to substantial herd immunity against the most common cancer-causing HPV variants in the United States. Dr. Lowy and his team are currently researching the efficacy of single versus two doses of HPV vaccines, which may have the potential to make HPV vaccination more feasible for underserved populations.

As Acting Director of the NCI from 2015 to 2017, Dr. Lowy led innovative and ambitious government initiatives such as the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) and the Cancer Moonshot. The first-of-its-kind PMI MATCH trial has been the fastest-accruing NCI clinical trial in history. 


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