American Society of Clinical Oncology honors MD Anderson leaders
By Clayton Boldt
Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., vice president and head of
MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, was recently honored with the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)-American Cancer Society Award.
Executive director of the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment, Hawk holds the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer and co-leads the cancer prevention and control platform within MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program.
“The highlights of my career have been the incredible mentors, friends, students and teams from diverse disciplines, experiences and backgrounds that I’ve been privileged to work with,” says Hawk, who accepted the award at the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago.
By Scott Merville
Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology, accepted ASCO’s Science of Oncology Award for pioneering research that led to a new way to treat cancer.
Allison’s studies focus on developing new drugs that block immune system checkpoints or stimulate immune responses. He founded and directs MD Anderson’s immunotherapy platform for the Moon Shots Program to cultivate and test immunology-based drugs and combinations.
Allison is also deputy director of MD Anderson’s David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers and holds the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology. He’s a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
“I’m grateful for this recognition and optimistic that immune checkpoint blockade, in combination with other therapies, may be curative for many patients across different types of cancer,” says Allison.
Allison also received the Pezcoller Foundation-American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) International Award for Cancer Research at its April meeting in Philadelphia.
“This award recognizes the efforts of my research team over the years to develop strategies that will unleash the immune system to treat cancer,” says Allison, “as well as the many other investigators, clinicians and patients whose efforts and courage made immunotherapy of cancer a reality that benefits cancer patients.”