NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a New York-based nonprofit committed to developing immune system-based cancer treatments, is presenting two of its highest honors for advancing cancer immunology to Dr. Michael Karin, professor of pharmacology at University of California, San Diego, and Dr. Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, CEO and director of scientific affairs at CRI. They will receive the awards at CRI's 27th annual awards dinner on Sept. 30 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Dr. Karin is receiving the 2013 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology for his groundbreaking work on the role of chronic inflammation in the development of tumors. The award also recognizes his work demonstrating how external stimuli can control the activity of pathways and transcription factors responsible for regulating innate immunity and inflammation.
In addition to receiving a $5,000 prize and medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, Dr. Karin will deliver the inaugural William B. Coley lecture on the first day of the Cancer Research Institute International Cancer Immunotherapy Symposium, which begins Sept. 30 at the Grand Hyatt New York.
"It's incredible to be involved on the forefront of research that has the potential to help so many people," Dr. Karin said. "I feel fortunate to be honored for my work and hope it brings more attention to the field of cancer immunology and inflammation."
Cancer Research Institute is also presenting the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology to Dr. O'Donnell-Tormey. She will receive the award for her leadership of the Cancer Research Institute, which has fostered the field of cancer immunology for 60 years and continues to drive new breakthroughs in laboratory and clinical discovery. This work has led to powerful, effective immune-based cancer treatments that are saving lives today. She is being recognized as a driving force in forging collaborative research and in building an unparalleled infrastructure to facilitate translation of discoveries in the field to the clinic.
"I'm humbled to receive this honor and to be involved in an organization that has been leading lifesaving research for six decades," said Dr. O'Donnell-Tormey. "Cancer immunotherapy is producing new breakthroughs every day and I just feel privileged to play a part in that."
The Alt Award is given each year to a former CRI-funded postdoctoral fellow in recognition of outstanding success in academia or industry for research that has a major impact in the field of immunology. Dr. O'Donnell-Tormey was a CRI fellow from 1983-1985 in the laboratory of Carl F. Nathan, M.D., who was at The Rockefeller University at the time.
In addition to the Coley and Alt awards, at the gala CRI will present the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research to serial tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker and MedImmune biotech head Dr. Bahija Jallal.
Nightline anchor and ABC News reporter Bill Weir will emcee the event. Folk, soul, blues and pop music duo JOHNNYSWIM will provide musical entertainment.
Lynne Harmer, Director of Special Events, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 688-7515, ext. 226.
About the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology
CRI established this award in 1975 in honor of Dr. William B. Coley, a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy, whose daughter Helen Coley Nauts (1907-2001) founded the Cancer Research Institute. Award winners are nominated by CRI's Scientific Advisory Council, the Academy of Cancer Immunology and former Coley Award winners, including: Philip D. Greenberg and Steven A. Rosenberg (2011); Haruo Ohtani, Wolf Hervé Fridman and Jérôme Galon (2010); Cornelis J.M. Melief (2009); Klaus Rajewsky and Frederick W. Alt (co-recipients, 2009); Michael J. Bevan (2008); Jeffrey V. Ravetch (2007); Shizuo Akira, Bruce A. Beutler, Ian H. Frazer and Harald zur Hausen (2006); James P. Allison (2005), Shimon Sakaguchi and Ethan M. Shevach (2004); Jules A. Hoffmann, Charles A. Janeway, Bruno Lemaitre and Ruslan Medzhitov (2003); Lewis L. Lanier, David H. Raulet and Mark J. Smyth (2002); and Robert D. Schreiber (2001). Each winner receives a cash prize of $5,000 and a gold medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.
To view a complete list of Coley Award recipients, go to www.cancerresearch.org/about/annual-awards/william-b-coley-award.
About the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology
The Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology honors a former CRI postdoctoral fellow in recognition of outstanding success in academia or industry for research that may have a potentially major impact on immunology. The award is named after CRI Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. Frederick W. Alt of the Harvard Medical School, Immune Disease Institute in Boston, Mass., who has been deeply involved in cultivating the careers of emerging young scientists.
Former Alt award winners include: Sebastian Amigorena (2012), Stephen C. Jameson (2011), Jason G. Cyster (2010), Anjana Rao (2009), Sankar Ghosh (2008), Gourisanker Ghosh (2007).
For more information, visit www.cancerresearch.org/about/annual-awards/frederick-w-alt-award.
About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world's only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 27 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $263 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world's leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to www.cancerresearch.org.
SOURCE Cancer Research Institute