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AACR Congratulates Co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer Lisa Paulsen on Receiving the Society of Surgical Oncology’s James Ewing Layman Award

March 23, 2012
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PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research congratulates Lisa Paulsen, president and chief executive officer of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), on receiving the James Ewing Layman Award. The Society of Surgical Oncology is honoring Paulsen with the award for her efforts to eradicate cancer through her leadership of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), especially her major role in establishing Stand Up To Cancer.

“Lisa Paulsen’s accomplishments have touched the lives of many cancer patients,” said AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.). “The monies raised by the EIF have contributed to many breakthroughs, including the development of the breast cancer therapy trastuzumab. Recently, Stand Up To Cancer has begun to change the face of cancer with the funding of impressive scientific Dream Teams and Innovative Research Grants to young investigators. Along with the co-founders of SU2C, she has skillfully leveraged the assets of the entertainment industry to advance translational research and bring the dream of the conquest of all cancers closer to reality. We applaud her recognition by the Society of Surgical Oncology.”

Paulsen will receive the award today at the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Meeting, held in Orlando, Fla.

As a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, the EIF utilizes the enormous power of the industry to raise awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues. Among the most pressing health issues championed by the EIF is the fight against cancer. Under Paulsen’s leadership, the EIF has raised millions of dollars for cancer research, education, prevention and treatment. Among the fundraising vehicles established by the EIF during Paulsen’s tenure as president and CEO is one of the largest single-day women’s cancer fundraisers in the country — the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women. SU2C was launched in May 2008 and is the largest initiative of the EIF.

Members of SU2C’s Executive Leadership Council include Sherry Lansing, chairperson of the EIF Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; Katie Couric; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pam Williams, partner at Laura Ziskin Productions; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin, a legendary film producer who executive produced the 2008 and 2010 SU2C telecasts, was also a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer.

SU2C was founded on the belief that there is a strong understanding of the basic science of cancer and that, with the appropriate level of funding, teams of scientists will be in a position to translate this understanding to the clinic for rapid patient benefit.

In its first year alone, more than $100 million was pledged to SU2C for cancer research. SU2C committed more than $76 million of this money to fund five interdisciplinary scientific Dream Teams. These Dream Teams were identified by the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., institute professor at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An additional Dream Team, jointly funded with the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), was established in December 2011. In addition, 26 Innovative Research Grants have been awarded by SU2C to meritorious young investigators. These grants support high-risk and potentially high-reward projects with significant potential for translational application.

To date, the Dream Teams and Innovative Research Grant recipients comprise more than 270 scientists from more than 67 unique institutions. Moreover, SU2C-funded cancer research has, in just three short years since the first funding was allocated, spawned 34 clinical trials across the country. SU2C’s mission of accelerating the translation of cancer research from “bench to bedside” is already bearing fruit and benefiting patients now.   

As the proud scientific partner of SU2C, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants that have the potential to have near-term impact on the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of cancers.

The James Ewing Layman Award is bestowed annually by the Society of Surgical Oncology and its James Ewing Foundation. It is awarded to a nonphysician to thank and honor his or her work in support of public awareness, patient resources or clinical research efforts in the prevention or cure of cancer. Previous awardees include Sanford L. Weill, Mary Lasker, Laurance Rockefeller, and Evelyn Lauder. The James Ewing Foundation was established in 1978 to perpetuate the memory of the discoverer of Ewing’s sarcoma, James Stephen Ewing, M.D. In addition to being the founder of the Society of Surgical Oncology, Ewing was a founding member and the first president of the AACR.  

The AACR seeks to establish a close relationship with surgical oncologists as they represent a vitally important specialty in the interdisciplinary care of cancer patients, and it is in the process of forming a Task Force on Surgical Oncology, with Monica Morrow, M.D., chief of breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and president-elect of the Society of Surgical Oncology, as chairperson of the task force. The goal of the task force is to give surgical oncologists who are research-oriented a greater platform for their voice.

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About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policy makers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110

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