NEW YORK, NY – October 4, 2012 – The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a U.S. nonprofit organization established in 1953 to transform cancer patient care through the discovery and development of safe and effective immune system-based strategies to treat and eventually cure all cancers, will bestow its highest honors for scientists and others who have made seminal contributions to the fields of immunology and cancer immunotherapy at its 26th Annual Awards gala on October 17, 2012, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
CRI will present the 2012 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology jointly to Richard A. Flavell, Ph.D., FRS, HHMI investigator, and chairman and Sterling Professor, Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine; Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D., Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean and professor of medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, and provost for medical affairs, Cornell University; and Kenneth M. Murphy, M.D., Ph.D., Eugene Opie First Centennial Professor of Pathology and Immunology, director of immunology program-DBBS, and HHMI investigator, Washington University in St. Louis, for their pioneering work to define the gene transcription factors that regulate differentiation of CD4+ T cells, a crucial component of the adaptive immune response.
Carl H. June, M.D., Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for Cell Engineering and Gene Transfer and Gene Expression Laboratory; Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center receive the 2012 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology for their groundbreaking work on the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for cancer, a highly promising new approach to strengthening a patient’s immune response to cancer.
The Cancer Research Institute will also present the 2012 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research to Mark P. Frissora, chairman and CEO of Hertz Corporation, for his company’s long-standing support of the Cancer Research Institute, and Dr. Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, for his company’s dedication to developing a personalized healthcare strategy for cancer and other diseases and in particular its focus on developing new medicines, which includes a commitment to immune-based cancer therapies.
James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council, will present the Coley Award to Drs. Flavell, Glimcher, and Murphy. Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, a joint program of the Cancer Research Institute and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd, and associate director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council will present the Coley Award to Drs. June and Sadelain. CRI board vice chairman Donald J. Gogel will present the Grace Award to Mr. Frissora, and trustee Paul Sekhri will present the Grace Award to Dr. Schwan. CRI board co-chairman John B. Fitzgibbons and CEO and director of scientific affairs Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., will also be featured speakers during the dinner. Jenna Wolfe, co-anchor, Sunday edition of Weekend TODAY, and TODAY correspondent, will emcee the event.
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About Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapies are designed to boost the immune system’s ability to find and destroy cancer cells and control tumor growth. These immunotherapies—including immune-modulating monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic cancer vaccines, and other interventions to overcome tumor-induced immunosuppression or to potentiate the anti-tumor immune response—have the potential to be more targeted, more effective, and less toxic than today’s standard approaches to fighting this disease.
In the past two years, two active immunotherapies for cancer—the therapeutic cancer vaccine Provenge® for advanced prostate cancer and the Yervoy™ monoclonal antibody "immune checkpoint blockade" for metastatic melanoma—have received approval by the U.S. FDA, and several dozen others are in the pipeline, with an expected total of five active immunotherapies to receive FDA approval by 2015. For more information on the promise and pipeline of cancer immunotherapies, visit http://www.cancerresearch.org.
About the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology
CRI established this award 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: Philip D. Greenberg and Steven A. Rosenberg (2011); Haruo Ohtani, Wolf Hervé Fridman, and Jérôme Galon (2010), Cornelis J.M. Melief (2009), Klaus Rajewsky and Frederick W. Alt (co-recipients, 2009), Michael J. Bevan (2008), Jeffrey V. Ravetch (2007), Shizuo Akira, Bruce A. Beutler, Ian H. Frazer and Harald zur Hausen (2006), James P. Allison (2005), Shimon Sakaguchi and Ethan M. Shevach (2004), Jules A. Hoffmann, Charles A. Janeway, Bruno Lemaitre, and Ruslan Medzhitov (2003), Lewis L. Lanier, David H. Raulet, and Mark J. Smyth (2002), and Robert D. Schreiber (2001). Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a gold medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels. To view a complete list of Coley Award recipients, go to http://www.cancerresearch.org/about/annual-awards/william-b-coley-award.
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: Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., Dendreon Corporation (2011); American fashion designer Michael Kors (2010); Andrew Witty (2010), CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; Fred Hassan (2009), chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corporation; 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. To view a complete list of Grace Award recipients, go to http://www.cancerresearch.org/about/annual-awards/oliver-r-grace-award.