Clear Search

ASCO 2022: Four BCRF Investigators Get Top Honors

By BCRF | June 15, 2022

BCRF researchers recognized for their contributions to cancer research at recent conference

BCRF was once again well-represented at this year’s American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting—with Foundation-supported investigators joining tens of thousands of clinicians, researchers, patient advocates, and industry representatives who gathered in person and online to share oncology’s newest findings.

BCRF is proud to announce that four of our investigators were given top honors at the conference for their significant contributions to oncology and their dedication to people with cancer:

Dr. Jedd Wolchok received ASCO’s highest scientific honor, the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award for research that led to practice-changing treatment strategies. A pioneer in immunotherapy, Dr. Wolchok said in his award lecture that he was “an early believer in what was speculative science in the 1980s.” Nevertheless, he persevered and helped usher in an era where immunotherapeutic agents could ultimately be used in clinical practice.

He gave a historical perspective on the rise of immunotherapy—from early laboratory studies to an established standard therapy for treating melanoma. Looking forward, Dr. Wolchok said expanding its clinical benefit to breast and other cancers and minimizing associated toxicities remain research priorities. As a laboratory researcher in long-term scientific partnership with fellow BCRF investigator Dr. Taha Merghoub, Dr. Wolchok spoke to the importance of basic research in fueling meaningful clinical strategies and advancing oncology.

Dr. Electra Paskett received the ASCO-American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Award for her outstanding impact on cancer prevention and control in high-risk populations. She was recognized for using multi-level interventions, community-based groups, and interdisciplinary teams to identify and target both behavioral and societal factors contributing to breast cancer disparities in underserved communities.

In her award lecture, Dr. Paskett provided a global perspective, both past and present, on cancer prevention in the context of her own career. She attributed her commitment to the field to her “secret sauce [that] includes opportunity, passion, and dedication—seasoned with a great team” and discussed her personal and familial connections to cancer, mentors, and serendipitous career breaks. Dr. Paskett stressed that although progress has been made in prevention and screening strategies, there are still ongoing challenges—particularly in underserved communities.

Dr. Kathy Albain was the recipient of the Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award that recognizes a clinical or translational investigator with a distinguished track record of breast cancer research and mentoring. Dr. Albain said she was particularly honored to receive this award, having been mentored by the honor’s namesake, Dr. Bonadonna.

Acknowledging Dr. Bonadonna’s legacy as a leader in multidisciplinary clinical research, Dr. Albain’s award lecture highlighted her own experiences as a clinician doing team research, and she credited this dynamic interplay and collaboration for her own successful career.

Meredith Regan, ScD was welcomed into the 2022 class of ASCO Fellows. This distinction is given to the society’s volunteers for valuable contributions to the organization.