Cancer Research Institute Media Room




Genentech CEO Bill Anderson and Philanthropist Bruce Ratner to Receive the Cancer Research Institute 2017 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fueling the discovery and development of immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, announced today that it will honor biotechnology company Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and real estate developer and philanthropist Bruce Ratner with the 2017 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research. The awards will be presented at CRI’s 31st Annual Awards Dinner taking place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. This annual award recognizes the contributions of individuals, corporations, and foundations that have made a significant impact on medical research, patient care, or public education in the fields of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Genentech CEO Bill AndersonGenentech CEO Bill Anderson will accept the award on behalf of his company in recognition of its development of TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab), the first and only FDA approved anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy for first-line treatment of certain people with advanced bladder cancer. The Cancer Research Institute will also honor Genentech’s generous support for CRI’s Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program, CRI’s Cancer Immunotherapy Month educational and awareness-building programming, and the annual International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference hosted jointly by CRI and three other cancer research organizations.

Bruce Ratner will receive the 2017 Oliver R. Grace Award for his exemplary philanthropic support of and dedication to cancer research and treatment, and for his ardent belief in the potential for cancer immunotherapy to radically transform cancer patient care. Ratner currently serves on the boards of Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York City.

At the dinner, the Cancer Research Institute will also celebrate excellence in scientific research with presentations of the 2017 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology to Rafi Ahmed, PhD, of Emory University, and the 2017 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology to Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago. CRI will also present the 2017 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology to Shannon J. Turley, PhD, a former CRI-funded postdoctoral fellow and now a principal scientist on the cancer immunology team at Genentech. CRI presents these awards annually to scientists whose outstanding contributions to cancer immunology have made tremendous impact on the lives of cancer patients.

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: Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen (2016); Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., and philanthropist Lauren Veronis (2015), Murdo Gordon, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Jacques C. Nordeman, chairman, Nordeman Grimm, Inc. (2014); Sean Parker, serial tech entrepreneur and philanthropist (2013); Bahija Jallal, PhD, executive vice president, AstraZeneca, and head of MedImmune (2013); Mark P. Frissora, former Hertz Corporation chairman and CEO (2012); Mitchell H. Gold, MD, former CEO, Dendreon Corporation (2011); American fashion designer Michael Kors (2010); Andrew Witty, former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (2010); Fred Hassan, former chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corporation (2009); the late Wade F.B. Thompson, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Thor Industries (2007); Julian H. Robertson Jr., chairman, Tiger Management LLC (2006); and journalist Katie Couric (2002). To view a complete list of Grace Award recipients, go to

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $344 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to

Media Contact:
Brian M. Brewer, [email protected], (212) 688-7515 x242

Read more:

This website uses tracking technologies, such as cookies, to provide a better user experience. If you continue to use this site, then you acknowledge our use of tracking technologies. For additional information, review our Privacy Policy.