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Dr. Julie Gralow receives the Humanitarian Award at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting. Photo credit: ASCO

BCRF Investigators Honored at 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting

BCRF is proud to congratulate two Scientific Advisory Board members and two BCRF investigators who were recognized for their achievements.
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The 54th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology was held June 1 through June 6 in Chicago. With over 39,000 registered attendees comprised primarily of clinical professionals representing all fields across the oncology specialties, this was the largest ASCO Annual Meeting to date.

Each year, the ASCO membership recognizes leaders in their profession through a variety of awards and lectures.  Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by a special awards selection committee. This year, BCRF was proud to see four of its researchers recognized for their pioneering work.

Dr. Nancy Davidson was the 2018 recipient of the Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award and Lecture. This award was created to recognize ASCO members who have transformed the oncology field or significantly advanced the mission of ASCO through their leadership, vision, and ability to inspire.

Dr. Davidson was honored for her decades of transformative contributions to translational breast cancer research, clinical care, collaboration and leadership. In her award lecture, Dr. Davison shared highlights of her journey as a clinician scientist– both successes and failures – that would inform future studies.

Throughout her career, Dr. Davidson has made key discoveries in the role of hormones, particularly estrogen receptor and gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer. She's guided several important national clinical trials which led to new standards for in breast cancer care. Read more about Dr. Davidson’s career in the ASCO Daily News.

Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi was the recipient of the 2018 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture. This award recognizes a clinical and/or translational researcher with a distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer and exceptional mentoring abilities.

In his introduction, ASCO Past President and BCRF investigator, Daniel Hayes described Dr. Hortobagyi as an extraordinary physician, leader, mentor and true visionary. Over an oncology career spanning more than four decades, Dr. Hortobagyi has focused on clinical and translational research, as well as teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists and academic leaders.

In his award lecture, Dr. Hortobagyi summarized his contributions to major advances in drug development and clinical trials achieved through collaborations with national and international colleagues that have benefited women worldwide. Most of his talk, however focused on the importance of mentorship, citing his parents as his first mentors.

“I learned from them that success is not necessarily to reach the top, but to be able to get up when you fall,” he said.

Dr. Hortobagyi has trained more than 500 fellows including BCRF Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Lajos Pustzai and BCRF investigators Dr. Sharon Giordano, Dr. Francisco Esteva, and Dr. Naoto Ueno.

Dr. Julie Gralow, whose reserach is supported in part by Play for P.I.N.K., was the recipient of the 2018 Humanitarian Award, which honors an oncologist who distinguishes him/herself through voluntary and non-compensated humanitarian endeavors by going above and beyond the call of duty in providing outstanding patient care in the U.S. or abroad.

Throughout her career, Dr. Gralow has been committed to improving quality of life for breast cancer patients through education, exercise, and diet, and to promoting breast cancer awareness in the community. She is Medical Director and Team Physician for Team Survivor Northwest, a non-profit focused on helping female cancer survivors improve their health through exercise; the founder of the Women's Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network, a group dedicated to empowering patient advocates in low- and middle-income countries; and Co-Chair of the Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5, a global campaign to reduce disparities in breast cancer care. Read more about her career  and her impact across continents n the ASCO Daily News.

Dr. Lori Pierce was the recipient of the 2018 Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award. This award recognizes extraordinary female leaders in oncology who have excelled as a mentor and have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of women colleagues as clinicians, educators, and researchers in oncology.

“Mentoring is important to everyone in oncology but perhaps particularly women. Medicine is a male-dominated field, and oncology is no exception,” Dr. Pierce said. Read the full interview with Dr. Pierce in the ASCO Daily News.

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