W.K. Alfred Yung, M.D., a brain cancer researcher and former National Foundation for Cancer Research fellow, was last week presented with the 3rd Annual SNOChina Award for Outstanding Contributions of International Cooperation by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association’s (CMDA) Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO). The presentation was made at the 3rd Annual SNOChina Conference in Xi’an, China. Announcing the honor were SNO Chairman Tao Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., and CMDA Secretary-General Wenbin Li, M.D., Ph.D., while bestowing it was NFCR President and CEO Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., herself the Award’s inaugural recipient.
Dr. Yung, a professor of neuro-oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is a luminary in the field. Born in Hong Kong, he immigrated to the U.S., graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota and earned his M.D. from the University of Chicago. Internship, residency and fellowship positions followed at the University of California San Diego, Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His affiliation with MD Anderson extends back to 1981 and includes his tenure from 1999 to 2015 as chairman of the department of neuro-oncology.
At the March 15th Award ceremony, SNO’s Dr. Jiang acknowledged Dr. Yung’s career battling glioblastoma, the deadliest and most common form of brain cancer. This includes his co-discovery of the PTEN tumor-suppressor gene involved in glioblastoma’s progression, major roles in the application and regulatory approval of drugs targeting it and the conception, launch and guidance of GBM AGILE, an ongoing adaptive clinical trial aimed at squarely addressing the disease.
“Alfred’s brilliance, experience and untiring effort comprise an unparalleled, decades’ long contribution to the understanding of GBM and efforts to end it,” stated Dr. Ba, herself a board member of the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), the non-profit organization sponsoring GBM AGILE and on which Dr. Yung serves as executive vice president. “I couldn’t be happier than to have as illustrious a peer as Alfred recognized with this honor.”
NFCR is an original strategic partner to GCAR and founding member of the National Biomarker Development Alliance, GBM AGILE’s initial sponsor. Our organization is also the leading financier through to 2018 of the clinical trial initiative.
Efforts by Doctors Ba and Yung have been instrumental in expanding GBM AGILE and other collaborative and highly impactful brain cancer research programs beyond the United States and into China. Their respective 2017 and 2019 SNO China Awards have highlighted such cross-border contributions.