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Dr. Jedd Wolchok Honored With American Association for Cancer Research-Rosenthal Foundation Memorial Award

March 4, 2014
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SAN DIEGO — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., with the 38th annual AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, to be held in San Diego, Calif., April 5-9. The award will be presented during the opening ceremony, Sunday, April 6, 8:15 a.m. PT.

Wolchok is the chief of Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service, and associate director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. He is being recognized for his major contributions to the field of immunotherapy for melanoma as well as his impactful work toward other malignancies. One of his seminal contributions is his role in the development of the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab, and leading an international phase III clinical trial to test ipilimumab in combination with chemotherapy. He is credited for recognizing the distinction between the kinetics of tumor response to traditional chemotherapy and an active immunotherapy. The new criteria for evaluating treatment responses to immunotherapy developed by Wolchok and colleagues have now become the standard criteria for immunotherapy clinical trials.

Wolchok will present his lecture, “Realizing the Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy,” Tuesday, April 8, 4 p.m. PT, in room 20 ABC of the San Diego Convention Center.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the 2014 recipient of the AACR Rosenthal Award. The translation of cutting-edge basic science findings into improved therapeutic options for patients is clearly a vital priority. I am thrilled to be recognized for my efforts and applaud the AACR and Rosenthal Family Foundation for their focus on efforts to enhance and improve clinical cancer care,” Wolchok said.

This award provides incentive to young investigators early in their careers, so it is stipulated that recipients be no older than 50 at the time the award is received. It was established in 1977 by the AACR and the Rosenthal Family Foundation to recognize research that has made, or promises to soon make, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer.

Wolchok’s current research is focused on testing ipilimumab in combination with other therapies, such as the addition of a PD-1 blocking antibody. He leads a recently initiated global phase III trial to test ipilimumab and an investigational anti-PD-1 antibody nivolumab, individually and in combination, in patients with advanced melanoma.

In order to extend immunotherapy beyond melanoma, Wolchok organized the immunotherapeutics program at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which carries out all of the phase I trials of immunotherapy at the cancer center in order to enhance efforts to test new immunotherapies and expand testing on various tumor types. In additional to clinical research efforts, Wolchok also directs the Swim Across America-Ludwig Collaborative Research Laboratory, which is focused on preclinical assessment of novel immune modulators.

Wolchok is a member of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)-Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Dream Team: Immunologic Checkpoint Blockade and Adoptive Cell Transfer in Cancer Therapy. An active AACR member, he is a senior editor of Cancer Immunology Research, and served on the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology committee. He is also director of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) clinical trials network, Journal of Immunology section editor, and Journal of Clinical Oncology editorial board member.

Wolchok’s work has been recognized though additional honors, including the Lloyd J. Old/Ludwig chair for clinical investigation at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Doctor of the Year Award from the Melanoma International Foundation (2012), the Humanitarian Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation (2010), the Julia Zelmanovich Young Alumni Award from New York University School of Medicine (2004), and the AACR-Aventis scholar-in-training award (2000).

Wolchok received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., and his master’s, medical, and doctoral degrees from New York University. He completed his residency at New York University Medical Center-Bellevue Hospital and served a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering, during which he also served as chief fellow.

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