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AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), and 2017-2018 AACR President Michael Caligiuri, MD, present the Fellows of the AACR medal to 2017 inductee (and 2016-2017 AACR President) Nancy E. Davidson, MD.

Established in 2013, the AACR Academy recognizes and honors distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. While election as a Fellow of the AACR Academy (FAACR) highlights past and current accomplishments, the groundbreaking scientists who earn this honor continue to chart the future of cancer research. AACR Fellows provide advice and counsel to the organization’s leadership on critical scientific issues, using their combined expertise to advance the AACR’s mission.

Class of 2017 Induction

At a ceremony on the evening before the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the 2017 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy was formally inducted. The class included (left to right): Carl H. June, MD; Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD; Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD; Nancy E. Davidson, MD; Karen H. Vousden, PhD; Vishva M. Dixit, MD; and Michael Karin, PhD.

Class of 2017

Sir Adrian P. Bird, PhD, FAACR

Welcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland

For characterizing CpG islands and highlighting the role of DNA methylation in the regulation of gene expression and disease onset

Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, FAACR

Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
Berlin, Germany
Umeå University
Umeå, Sweden

For elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing CRISPR-mediated viral immunity and for contributions to developing the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR

Institute for Cancer Genetics
Columbia University
New York, New York

For demonstrating the significance of proto-oncogenes and select genetic abnormalities including chromosomal translocations in lymphomagenesis

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FAACR

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

For defining key molecular drivers of breast carcinogenesis and helping to establish new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of breast cancer

Vishva M. Dixit, MD, FAACR

Genentech, Inc.
South San Francisco, California

For uncovering the role of caspases and associated signaling molecules in death receptor-mediated cell death and immune responses

Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, FAACR

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California

For revealing bacterial mechanisms of viral immunity and for developing the CRISPR-Cas9 system used to manipulate genomic DNA

Carl H. June, MD, FAACR

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Abramson Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For designing chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Michael Karin, PhD, FAACR

University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California

For categorizing how environmental stress, hormones, inflammation, and obesity activate key signaling pathways involved in cancer

Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, FAACR

Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, North Carolina

For ascertaining key steps of the DNA damage response pathway, deciphering mechanisms of p53-mediated cell cycle inhibition, and for defining the role of ATM in modulating mitochondrial function, insulin signaling, and cellular metabolism

Tomas Lindahl, MD, FRS, FAACR

Francis Crick Institute
London, England

For advancing the understanding of DNA damage repair through his discovery of the process of base excision repair and for isolating and characterizing several key components of the DNA repair machinery

Paul L. Modrich, PhD, FAACR

Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

For clarifying the mechanisms of DNA mismatch repair and demonstrating its role in the onset of various cancers including hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer

Karen H. Vousden, PhD, FAACR

The Crick Institute
Cancer Research UK
London, England

For describing various p53 regulatory mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis, including MDM2 inhibition of p53 function and the role of PUMA in p53-mediated cell death

Scientific Achievement Awards

In 1961, the AACR established its first scientific award, partnering with Eli Lilly and Company to present the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award. Named for G.H.A. Clowes, a founding member of the AACR and a past research director at Eli Lilly and Company, the award recognized an individual scientist for outstanding recent accomplishments in the field of basic cancer research. More than fifty years later, the AACR continues to recognize and reward excellence in all areas of cancer science.

The 2017 AACR Scientific Achievement Awards and Lectureships highlighted exceptional scientists at several points along the career continuum. For example, the inaugural AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research—named in honor of Waun Ki Hong, MD, FAACR, an AACR Past President—was established to recognize the outstanding research of investigators who are 51 years of age or younger. The first recipient of the award, Roger S. Lo, MD, PhD, was honored for his contributions toward identifying the molecular underpinnings of metastatic melanoma and its response to therapy.

Early recognition of promising scientists and support throughout their careers fosters breakthrough discoveries that can shift scientific paradigms and ultimately improve the lives of cancer patients. One example of a scientist whose career changed the field is Mina Bissell, PhD, FAACR, recipient of the 2017 AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. Dr. Bissell, who was honored for her seminal discoveries in cell biology that launched the field of tumor microenvironment research, received the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Award in 1999—an acknowledgment of a burgeoning career that eventually transformed the field’s understanding of cancer initiation and progression.

2017 Award Recipients and Lecturers

Fifty-Seventh Annual AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award

Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR

Columbia University
Institute for Cancer Genetics
New York, New York

Twenty-Sixth Annual AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH

Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Twenty-Second Annual AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research

Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, FAACR

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts


David M. Livingston, MD, FAACR

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts

Twentieth Annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship

Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, PhD, MD (hc)

Oslo University Hospital Institute for Cancer Research
Oslo, Norway

Fourteenth Annual AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research

Mina J. Bissell, PhD, FAACR

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, California

Thirteenth Annual AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecture

Leonard I. Zon, MD

Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Twelfth Annual AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Memorial Lectureship

Carol L. Brown, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

ELEVENTH ANNUAL AACR-MARGARET FOTI AWARD FOR Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research

Carlo M. Croce, MD, FAACR

Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Columbus, Ohio

Eleventh Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research

Craig M. Crews, PhD

Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Eleventh Annual AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship

Louis M. Staudt, MD, PhD

National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, Maryland

Eleventh Annual AACR Team Science Award

The International Liquid Biopsy Initiative Team

  • Luis A. Diaz, Jr., MD

    Team Leader
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    New York, New York

  • Nishant Agrawal, MD

    University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
    Chicago, Illinois

  • Chetan Bettegowda, MD, PhD

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Frank Diehl, PhD

    Sysmex Inostics
    Hamburg, Germany

  • Peter Gibbs, MD

    Royal Melbourne Hospital
    Parkville, Victoria, Australia

  • Stanley R. Hamilton, MD

    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Houston, Texas

  • Ralph H. Hruban, MD

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Hartmut H. Juhl, MD, PhD

    Hamburg, Germany

  • Isaac A. Kinde, MD, PhD

    PapGene, Inc.
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Kenneth W. Kinzler, PhD, FAACR

    Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Martin A. Nowak, PhD

    Harvard University
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Nickolas Papadopoulos, PhD

    Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • David Sidransky, MD

    Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Jeanne Tie, MD

    The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
    Parkville, Victoria, Australia

  • Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, Maryland

  • Bert Vogelstein, MD, FAACR

    Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Baltimore, Maryland

Ninth Annual AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by SUSAN G. KOMEN®

Nicholas C. Turner, PhD, FRCP

Royal Marsden Hospital Institute of Cancer Research
London, England


Jeffrey M. Rosen, PhD

Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas

Eighth Annual AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities, funded by SUSAN G. KOMEN®

Julie R. Palmer, ScD

Boston University School of Public Health
Boston Medical Center Cancer Center
Boston, Massachusetts


Olivera (Olja) J. Finn, PhD

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Roger S. Lo, MD, PhD

Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Los Angeles, California