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AACR CEO Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), Receives 2010 Philadelphia Pinnacle Award

May 24, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), received the 2010 Philadelphia Pinnacle Award on May 22.

The prestigious award is presented by the Millay Club to Philadelphians who reach the pinnacle of their profession by achieving extraordinary accomplishments in an ordinary and unassuming way.

Founded in 1982, the Millay Club is the 25,000 member strong alumni association of Southeast Catholic, Bishop Neumann, Saint John Neumann, SS. John Neumann and Saint Maria Goretti Catholic High Schools. Foti is a 1962 graduate of Saint Maria Goretti High School.

“It is an honor to receive the Philadelphia Pinnacle Award,” said Foti. “Any success that I have achieved is due in large part to the incredible tutelage and guidance that I received as a young girl at Saint Maria Goretti High School. My Catholic education provided structure and discipline that are the hallmark traits of successful professionals, and I will always be grateful for this extraordinary mentorship.”

The Millay Club has established numerous scholarship foundations which, over the years, have enabled the Club to provide grants and scholarships to more than 8,000 students. Proceeds from the Pinnacle Award Gala support the scholarship program.

After graduating from Saint Maria Goretti High School, Foti went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a master’s degree and doctorate in communications from Temple University in Philadelphia. She began her career at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering and three years later attained the position of editorial assistant for Cancer Research at the American Association for Cancer Research. Cancer Research is the most highly cited cancer journal in the world. Foti progressed through several key management roles in scientific publishing to become the youngest managing editor of a major scientific journal in the country. She became chief executive officer of the AACR in 1982.

During Foti’s tenure, AACR’s membership has grown from about 3,000 to 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers, health care professionals, students, cancer survivors and advocates from the United States and more than 90 other countries.

Foti has launched five additional major peer-reviewed journals: Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. All six publications contribute more than 26,000 scientific pages to the cancer literature every year. In 2006, the AACR launched CR, a magazine for cancer survivors, their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.

Most recently, Foti has led the AACR’s scientific partnership of Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable initiative that supports groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. The AACR plays an integral role by providing scientific leadership, expert peer review and grants administration and oversight.

In addition, the AACR convenes more than 20 meetings a year worldwide on timely scientific subjects, and five educational workshops that train basic and clinical scientists.

Foti has received many awards for her contributions to cancer research. In 2009, she won the first Margaret Kripke Legend Award from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the European CanCer Organization Lifetime Achievement Award, and received a citation from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for her dedication to increasing awareness of the importance of cancer research and for her pivotal role in creating May as National Cancer Research Month. She was the first recipient of an AACR award that was created in her name in 2007. She has received numerous other awards as well.

Additionally, Foti has won the Award of Appreciation from the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Chairpersons, the Award with Recognition and Appreciation from the Israel Cancer Association, the Italian League Against Cancer Commendation, the Distinguished Service Award from the George Washington University Medical Center’s GW Cancer Institute, the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the AACR Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, the Ville de Paris Award, the Cina del Duca Award for raising public awareness of cancer globally, the Community Caring Award from the William S. Graham Foundation for Melanoma Research and the Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for her work in advancing clinical cancer research.

For her work, Foti has also been awarded honorary memberships in the Japanese Cancer Association, the European Association for Cancer Research and the Hungarian Cancer Society. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in medicine and surgery from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 2003, and the University of Catania in Sicily in July 2008. She received a third honorary doctorate in medicine from the University CEU San Pablo, in Madrid in June 2009.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Michele Leiberman
(267) 646-0622

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