The American Association for Cancer Research will present its sixth annual AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research to John Mendelsohn, M.D., at the association's annual meeting opening session this Sunday in Chicago.
Mendelsohn is co-director of MD Anderson's Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy (IPCT) and was president of MD Anderson from 1996 to 2011.
The award, announced today, recognizes a person who has had a major impact by conducting or supporting cancer research.
"Dr. Mendelsohn was a pioneer in the area of targeted cancer therapies, specifically working with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibition," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The AACR commends him for his groundbreaking research on targeted therapy, which opened the door to a new way of thinking about cancer and its treatment. In addition, Dr. Mendelsohn is both a nationally and internationally recognized leader in cancer policy."
The award is named for Foti, who has been chief executive officer of AACR, the world's oldest and largest cancer professional organization, since 1982.
"I am thrilled to receive this award because it is in honor of a great leader, Dr. Foti, and because it recognizes my lifetime commitment to improving the care of cancer patients through research," Mendelsohn said. "I have been privileged to work with many outstanding laboratory and clinical investigators in initiating the field of targeted cancer therapy and in expanding translational cancer research programs at three great academic institutions."
The AACR announcement notes Mendelsohn's current leadership roles as chair of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine and as co-director of the IPCT, "a research program designed to embrace a multidisciplinary approach including laboratory researchers, clinicians and investigators to test cancer therapies targeting abnormal genes and gene products detected in an individual patient's cancer."
"Prior to this, Mendelsohn served as the president of MD Anderson from 1996 to 2011, recently stepping down to return to clinical and translational research. During his time as president, Mendelsohn worked with a visionary management team to transform the cancer center into what it is today, one of the world's most respected cancer research centers. Under his supervision and guidance, MD Anderson was ranked as number one in cancer care in the nation, for eight out of the last 10 years, in the "America's Best Hospitals" survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report."
Click here to read the entire AACR Foti Award announcement