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2009 Grace and Coley Award Winners Announced

Scientific and corporate leaders in immunology, tumor Immunology to be honored at Cancer Research Institute 23rd Annual Awards Dinner

NEW YORK, NY – May 29, 2009 – The Cancer Research Institute, Inc. (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the support and coordination of scientific and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of cancer, announced today the winners of the 2009 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research, and the 2009 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology.  

  • Fred Hassan, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Schering-Plough Corporation, will receive the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research, for his leadership at Schering-Plough, a global health care company committed to the development of new medicines and immune-based therapies for cancer and infectious and inflammatory diseases that are designed to improve the health and quality of life for patients around the world.
  • Cornelis J.M. Melief, M.D., Ph.D., of Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, will receive the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology for his novel insights into the relationship between tumors and the host’s immune system, in particular his description of certain key mechanisms of cytotoxic T lymphocyte recognition of tumor antigen and their subsequent activation, and for his development of innovative therapies that have been applied in the clinic or are being translated in the clinic based on improved insights into cell-mediated immunity.
  • Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D., and Klaus Rajewsky, M.D., both of the Immune Disease Institute and Harvard Medical School, will share equally the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology for their fundamental contributions to our understanding of B-cell development and function, and the mechanisms underlying B cell lymphomagenesis. 

Honorees will receive their awards at a black-tie gala to be held the evening of June 11 at the St. Regis in New York City. MSNBC anchor and correspondent Alex Witt will emcee the event, and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein will give a keynote address. 

"The annual awards dinner provides an elegant platform for our organization to recognize the important contributions of scientists and laypersons to the advancement of immunology, tumor immunology, and cancer therapies, all of which provide the underpinnings for the ultimate development of new, immune-based approaches to the treatment, control, and prevention of cancer," said Cancer Research Institute Executive Director Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D.

Other speakers include Cancer Research Institute Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees Donald J. Gogel, president and CEO of Clayton Dubilier & Rice and a dinner co-chair, who will present the Grace Award to Fred Hassan; CRI Scientific Advisory Council Associate Director Glenn Dranoff, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who will present the Coley Award in Tumor Immunology to Cornelis Melief; and CRI Scientific Advisory Council Associate Director James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who will present the Coley Award in Basic Immunology to Fred Alt and Klaus Rajewsky.

In addition to Mr. Gogel, the co-chairs for the dinner are Carlos A. Ferrer, founder and managing member of Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC; Thomas P. Koestler, executive vice president and president, Schering-Plough Research Institute; and Andrew M. Paul, chairman, Enhanced Capital Partners, LLC.


Media Contact
Brian Brewer, Director of Communications
Cancer Research Institute
(212) 688-7515, ext. 242 or bbrewer@cancerresearch.org

About the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research
This award, established in 1995, recognizes the contributions of dedicated laypersons whose leadership has had a significant impact on cancer research. The award is named in memory of the late Oliver R. Grace, founding chairman of the Cancer Research Institute, whose vision, wisdom, and generosity benefited the Institute for nearly 40 years. Former Grace Award winners include, among other champions of cancer research: Carlos A. Ferrer (2008), founder and managing member of Ferrer Freeman & Company LLC; Wade F.B. Thompson (2007), chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Thor Industries; Julian H. Robertson Jr. (2006), chairman, Tiger Management LLC; Katie Couric (2002), anchor of CBS Evening News; and Andrea Jung (2001), chief executive officer, Avon Products, Inc. Each Grace Award winner will receive a gold medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.

About the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology
This award was established in 1975 in honor of Dr. William B. Coley, a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy, whose daughter Helen Coley Nauts (1907-2001) founded the Cancer Research Institute. Award winners are nominated by CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council, the Academy of Cancer Immunology, and former Coley Award winners, including: Michael J. Bevan (2008), HHMI, University of Washington; Jeffrey V. Ravetch (2007), The Rockefeller University; Ian H. Frazer (2006), University of Queensland; James P. Allison (2005), The Ludwig Center/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Robert D. Schreiber (2001), Washington University School of Medicine. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a gold medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels. 

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