The American Cancer Society has bestowed its highest honor on four individuals and one foundation during the Society’s 2015 Medal of Honor ceremony and celebration dinner in Washington, DC. The Medal of Honor is awarded to those who have made the most valuable contributions and impact in the fight to end cancer through basic research, clinical research, cancer control, or philanthropy.
The 2015 recipients are James P. Allison, PhD, for Basic Research; Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, for Basic Research; Jack Cuzick, PhD, for Clinical Research; Sidney Jerome Winawer, MD, for Cancer Control; and The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, for Philanthropy.
“Our Medal of Honor recipients truly embody what the American Cancer Society is all about,” said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society. “Each of this year’s recipients has significantly contributed to the advancement and impact of our collective efforts to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.”
James P. Allison, PhD
Dr. Allison was awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Basic Research for his pioneering work on the regulation of immune cell activation and defining immune checkpoint blockade. His research has resulted in major advances in immunotherapy for cancer and the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Dr. Allison is a Professor in the Department of Immunology, Division of Basic Science Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD
Dr. Rosenberg was presented with the Medal of Honor for Basic Research for the development of adoptive immunotherapy that resulted in the first effective immunotherapies for selected patients with advanced cancer. His recent studies of the adoptive transfer of genetically modified lymphocytes have resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with melanoma, sarcomas, and lymphomas. Dr. Rosenberg is Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute and a Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Jack Cuzick, PhD
Dr. Cuzick was awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Clinical Research for his contributions to the field of biostatistics, epidemiology, and clinical medicine. Over the past 3 decades, Dr. Cuzick has demonstrated consistent leadership in cancer prevention and screening, including chemoprevention and cancer treatment. He is internationally known for advancing the field of breast cancer chemoprevention through his work with tamoxifen and most recently the research that contributed to the introduction of aromatase inhibitors, both for the treatment of breast cancer and as an agent for chemoprevention. He is the codeveloper of a widely used breast cancer risk estimation model and has been a leader in the design and analysis of clinical trials of cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment. Dr. Cuzick is Director of Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Head of the Centre for Cancer Prevention and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Queen Mary, University of London.
Sidney Jerome Winawer, MD
Dr. Winawer received the Medal of Honor for Cancer Control in recognition of his lifetime contributions and dedication to advance screening and prevention of colorectal cancer. His monumental work has expanded the colorectal cancer knowledge base, documenting the impact of colonoscopy and polyp removal in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Dr. Winawer is an attending physician and member with tenure and holds the Paul Sherlock Chair in Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is also a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical School.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Based in Minneapolis and Naples, Florida, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was awarded the Medal of Honor for Philanthropy for a $7.5 million grant to expand the Hope Lodge in Rochester, Minnesota, and to build the Twin Cities Hope Lodge in Minneapolis. Mr. Schulze is a founder of Best Buy and has been an officer and director since its inception in 1966 and is currently Founder and Chairman Emeritus. He is a trustee of the University of St. Thomas and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of St. Thomas Business School. ■