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American Association for Cancer Research CEO Recognized With Kligerman Award From University of Pennsylvania

March 25, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA — Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), will be honored with the 2014 Morton M. Kligerman Visiting Professorship Award for her remarkable and far-reaching efforts to foster cancer research at a celebration hosted by the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, here today.

Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.)

Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.)

Before receiving the award, Foti will give her award lecture, during which she will offer her perspectives on the cancer research landscape in the new era of cancer science and medicine, and also discuss the AACR’s long-standing commitment to promote cancer research and harness scientific breakthroughs to find new approaches to the prevention and cure of the many diseases we call cancer.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the 2014 Morton M. Kligerman Visiting Professorship Award,” said Foti. “Dr. Kligerman was a true pioneer in radiation oncology. His rigorous approach to research revolutionized the radiation oncology field, transforming it from an empirical to an evidence-based discipline. Dr. Kligerman was also dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients, and his vision and commitment led to several innovative new approaches to radiotherapy that are still benefiting patients today.”

The Morton M. Kligerman Visiting Professorship Award is bestowed by the Department of Radiation Oncology to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the discipline of oncology, particularly in the area of research. Previous awardees are Samuel Hellman, M.D.; Maurice Tubiana, M.D., Ph.D.; Mortimer M. Elkind, Ph.D.; Herman Suit, M.D.; Ian Tannock, M.D., Ph.D.; Harry Bartelink, M.D., Ph.D.; Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D.; Sanjiv Gambhir, M.D, Ph.D.; W. Gillies McKenna, M.D., Ph.D.; Eugen B. Hug, M.D.; Robert Timmerman, M.D.; and Lori Pierce, M.D. The award was established in honor of Morton M. Kligerman, M.D., a giant in the field of radiation oncology.

Foti became CEO of the AACR in 1982. Working collaboratively with the elected officers of the AACR, she has provided the continuity of leadership that has been critical to the association’s progress and mission to prevent and cure cancer. During her tenure, the AACR’s membership has grown from about 3,000 to more than 34,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in 97 countries.

Foti’s efforts to accelerate the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer have included the launch of seven peer-reviewed scientific journals: Cancer Discovery; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Cancer Prevention Research; and Cancer Immunology Research. Her leadership also has been instrumental in expanding the AACR’s comprehensive program of national and international conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees, to increase the pace of progress in understanding cancer biology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

In addition, Foti leads the AACR’s scientific partnership with 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 plays an integral role by providing expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit.

Foti has received many national and international honors and awards for her contributions to cancer research. Most recently, she received the Stanley P. Reimann Honor Award from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia in May 2013, and in March 2013 she was honored with the Distinguished Partner in Hope Award during the Annual Colorectal Cancer Conference hosted by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 2012, she received the National Brain Tumor Society’s Founders Award for Excellence in Cancer Research, was recognized as a “First Lady” of the Intercultural Cancer Council, received the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s 2012 Biotech Humanitarian Award, and received Research!America’s 2012 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership.

She has received numerous other accolades, such as the first Margaret Foti Award, which was established in cooperation with the University of Catania Ph.D. Oncology Program and the Italian League Against Cancer of Catania; the first Margaret Kripke Legend Award from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; the European CanCer Organization Lifetime Achievement Award; and a citation from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for her dedication to increasing awareness of the importance of cancer research, as well as for her pivotal role in designating May as National Cancer Research Month. Foti was also the first recipient of an AACR award created in her name in 2007. She holds three honorary doctorates in medicine and surgery from medical institutions in Italy and Spain.

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