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Katie Couric Honored With 2013 AACR Award for Distinguished Public Service

April 7, 2013
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) presented Katie Couric with the 2013 AACR Award for Distinguished Public Service in recognition of her extraordinary contributions as an advocate for cancer research, early detection and prevention, as well as her visionary leadership and commitment to the conquest of cancer, particularly colon cancer.

The AACR Award for Distinguished Public Service was presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10, during the opening ceremony on Sunday, April 7, at 8:30 a.m. ET in Halls D-E in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“We are deeply honored to present Katie Couric with our Distinguished Public Service Award for her passionate support of cancer research, and her stellar efforts to raise public awareness about cancer prevention and treatment,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “She has provided invaluable education to the general public about cancer through her consistently outstanding reports of breakthroughs in cancer research, and her vital work in screening and early detection has saved countless lives from cancer, especially colon cancer.”

Couric, best known for her on-air reporting, became an advocate in the fight against cancer after losing her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998. She co-founded the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to fund cutting-edge research in colorectal cancer in 2000 and famously underwent an on-air colonoscopy to raise awareness of the importance of screening. Her televised colonoscopy is credited with the 20 percent increase in these procedures the same year, which researchers refer to as the “Couric Effect.”

In 2008, Couric co-founded Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), also an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, with a group of women whose lives have been deeply affected by cancer. Co-founders and/or members of SU2C’s Council of Founders and Advisors include EIF Board Chair Sherry Lansing, President and CEO Lisa Paulsen, and Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; marketing executives Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz; cancer survivor and television producer Noreen Fraser; the late filmmaker Laura Ziskin and her producing partner Pam Williams; and non-profit executive Ellen Ziffren. SU2C has raised nearly $200 million in funds predominantly used to provide large grants to Dream Teams of scientists doing research that accelerates the delivery of new therapies to patients. Many AACR members have been beneficiaries of these generous funds that have fostered breakthrough cancer research.

Additionally, Couric co-founded the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y., a clinical center providing integrated care and focusing on prevention, screening, treatment, support, research and education for people who have, or are at risk for developing, gastrointestinal cancers. She also worked with the University of Virginia to establish the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in honor of her sister, a Virginia state senator, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001.

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Press registration for the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 is free to qualified journalists and public information officers.

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About the American Association for Cancer Research

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 membership includes more than 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 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight 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 team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Rick Buck
(856) 562-5668
In Washington, D.C.,
April 6-10, 2013:

(202) 249-4005

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