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AACR and University of Catania Establish the Margaret Foti Award for Best Thesis in Translational Oncology

November 30, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research, in cooperation with the University of Catania Ph.D. Oncology Program and the Italian League Against Cancer of Catania, announces the establishment of the “Margaret Foti Award” for the best thesis in translational oncology. The first awards will be given on Dec. 2, 2010, in Catania, Italy.

In recognition of her commitment to cancer research and funding for cancer research, AACR CEO Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., (h.c.) will receive the first award.

“Dr. Foti and the AACR have been instrumental in supporting the careers of cancer scientists and the important work they do,” said Massimo Libra, M.D., Ph.D., of the department of biomedical sciences at the University of Catania. “Dr. Foti’s international vision has enabled the AACR to unite a worldwide community of cancer researchers by sponsoring important scientific meetings and publishing high quality scientific journals.”

“The efforts of Dr. Foti and the AACR to accelerate the pace of discovery in basic and clinical research have laid the foundation for improvements in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” added Ferdinando Nicoletti, M.D., Ph.D., director of the laboratory of translational immunopharmacology in the department of biomedical sciences at the University of Catania.

The annual Margaret Foti Award will recognize an outstanding postdoctoral candidate from the University of Catania who has completed a doctorate in the field of translational oncology. The winner will receive funds in the form of a “Young Investigator Scholar-in-Training” travel award to attend the AACR Annual Meeting.

“We established this award in the name of Dr. Foti in recognition of her work on cancer research. Dr. Foti’s leadership with the AACR has brought scientists, political figures and the public at large together in the collective fight against cancer,” said Franca Stivala, M.D., Coordinator of the Ph.D. Oncology Program, University of Catania.

After receiving the first award, Foti will present the second award to Bibiana Bruni, Ph.D. Bruni’s thesis, Osteopontin/Matrixmetalloproteinasis Pathway Activation in Head and Neck Cancer, underlines the relevance of osteopontin/matrix metalloproteinase-9 pathway as a marker for head and neck cancer progression and provides a promising therapeutic strategy to interfere with signaling pathway(s) that regulate OPN-mediated MMP-9 activation in this cancer type.

“I feel very honored to present the Margaret Foti Award to Dr. Bruni,” said Foti. “Funding the next generation of promising young investigators will lead to breakthroughs in cancer research. Moreover, this award encourages international collaboration, which is so critical to moving the science forward at a rapid pace and sustaining the pipeline of cancer scientists for the future.”

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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 32,000 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 fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 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. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.

Media Contact:
Michele Sharp
(267) 646-0622
michele.sharp@aacr.org

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