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AACR CEO Margaret Foti to Receive Research!America Advocacy Award

October 11, 2011
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PHILADELPHIA — Research!America will award American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), the 2012 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership. Foti is honored for AACR’s national leadership role in science and public policy, and for her tireless and effective advocacy for federal research funding during her long tenure as the CEO of AACR. 

In addition to Foti, Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance, will present its 16th Annual Advocacy Awards to Scott Johnson, president and founder, Myelin Repair Foundation; Sanjay Gupta, M.D., chief medical correspondent, CNN; Donald Lindberg, M.D., director, National Library of Medicine; and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI).

“This year’s awardees have significantly raised the bar on scientific and policy achievements in their respective fields and shone a spotlight on the immeasurable benefits of research,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “We strongly believe their accomplishments will inspire others to be bold and innovative in advancing research and making it a high priority for our nation.”

The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program was established in 1996 to honor outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research. Recognized individuals and organizations are those whose leadership efforts have been notably effective in advancing the nation’s commitment to research.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from Research!America,” said Foti. “The American Association for Cancer Research has made it a top priority to advocate for the advancement of cancer research and biomedical science and to ensure scientists have the federal support and resources needed to pursue novel new ways to treat and prevent disease. We are committed to educating lawmakers and the public about the value and promise of research and to fostering collaborations with the entire biomedical research community to expand the nation’s commitment to scientific discovery and innovation.”

Foti’s leadership was instrumental in the production of the landmark AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011 which highlighted the extraordinary progress made in cancer research over the past 40 years. This report was designed as a comprehensive, informational tool that illustrates the astounding return on investment in cancer research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, and provides a summary of the scientific breakthroughs that promise to revolutionize the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

By engaging and leveraging the expertise of its membership and leaders in the field, the AACR has become the authoritative voice on issues of importance to the advancement of cancer research. In the fall of 2007, the AACR opened a Washington, D.C. office to represent the interests of cancer researchers before Congress. As a result, the AACR has a regular presence on Capitol Hill, sponsoring educational briefings for members of Congress and their staffs, and facilitating opportunities to connect researchers with key decision makers at all levels of government.

Foti became chief executive officer of the AACR in 1982. During her tenure, the AACR’s membership has grown from about 3,000 to 33,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers, health care professionals, students, cancer survivors, and research and patient advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. 

Foti has received many awards for her contributions to cancer research. In 2010, she was awarded the first Margaret Foti Award, established in cooperation with the University of Catania Ph.D. Oncology Program and the Italian League Against Cancer of Catania. 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 the AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, 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 a second honorary doctorate in medicine and surgery from 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 2009.

The Research!America awards event will take place Wed., March 14, 2012, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

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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 33,000 laboratory, 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 to young investigators, and it also funds cutting-edge research projects conducted by senior researchers. The AACR has numerous fruitful collaborations with organizations and foundations in the U.S. and abroad, and functions as the Scientific Partner 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 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, and Educational Workshops are held for the training of young cancer investigators. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. In 2010, AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers, which provides practical knowledge and new hope for cancer survivors. A major goal of the AACR is to educate the general public and policymakers about the value of cancer research in improving public health, the vital importance of increases in sustained funding for cancer research and biomedical science, and the need for national policies that foster innovation and the acceleration of progress against the 200 diseases we call cancer.

Media Contact:
Michele Sharp
(267) 646-0622

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