The 2022 Global Summit and Award Ceremonies for Cancer Research & Entrepreneurship, held in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club on October 22, 2022, brought together the nation and the world’s leading cancer researchers. Together, experts discussed their research and their vision for the continued development of the most promising new therapies.
How the Global Summit Makes an Impact on Cancer Patients
By converging in the same space, researchers learn from each other and form collaborations – the surest way to foster progress in the fight against cancer. NFCR is leading the way in bridging the gap between laboratory discoveries and advancing them to reach patients in clinical trials.
NFCR-funded and other leading scientists discussed how their research is making great strides. Topics included molecular approaches to understanding lung, oral, blood, and other cancers and the best strategies to treat head and neck, pancreatic, and breast cancer.
The Summit also showcased several technology platforms and advancements in cell therapy, immunotherapy, artificial intelligence-based drug discovery, and early cancer diagnoses by leading oncology innovators. New effective therapies and sensitive diagnostic approaches will emerge from their critical and impressive work.
Celebrating Excellence in Cancer Research
The Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology
At our 2022 Global Summit, the Inaugural Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology was awarded to Anna D. Barker, Ph. D. of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine.
Dr. Anna Barker is an accomplished researcher who has led landmark projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas and helped launch GBM AGILE, the adaptive clinical trial challenging how we evaluate cancer treatments for glioblastoma. Dr. Janet Woodcock, Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, introduced her and emphasized, “We will all benefit [from her work on GBM AGILE] because this is the way clinical trials should be.”
Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research
Each year, NFCR’s Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research honors scientists whose pioneering research has had a lasting impact on cancer prevention, diagnosis, or treatment, holding the promise of improving or saving the lives of cancer patients. Our 2022 Honoree is Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D., Professor of Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology.
Dr. Jain has pioneered research and made breakthrough discoveries on the barriers of the tumor microenvironment. For example, he discovered that an imbalance of vessel growth in tumors results in leaky blood vessels that cause edema, lack of oxygen and immunosuppression. In overcoming these barriers, his work has improved drug delivery, treatment efficacy, and patient survival.
Dr. Doug Lowy, Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and 2018 Szent-Györgyi Prize Co-Winner, introduced Dr. Jain and vividly recounted the 2022 Prize Winner’s seminal accomplishments and impacts for cancer patients and research fields.
NFCR proudly continues supporting the work of Dr. Rakesh K. Jain as we have for 24 years.
Honoring Survivors and Cancer Research Advocates
NFCR Board Member Lance Kawaguchi acknowledged two remarkable members of our community at the Szent-Györgyi Prize Ceremony. Their presence reminds us of all the impacts of the innovative research we are funding.
Chelsea Hu was recognized for her exemplary work raising money for cancer research using art showcases. Through her nonprofit, Teen Mobile Arts, Hu raised $1,500 for NFCR-supported initiatives.
Greyson Banovich, accompanied by his mother, Katie, was recognized on the stage for his inspirational story of strength and courage in defeating cancer at just 3 years old. NFCR-funded cancer research was a contributing factor to Greyson’s successful tumor-removal surgery. Mr. Kawaguchi surprised Greyson with several gifts for courageously sharing his story. With the help of our audience, a glow stick party was thrown for him. Glow stick parties were a source of comfort for Greyson during his hospital stay. Greyson also received a custom soccer World Cup jersey, a sport Greyson can now happily participate in – thanks to overcoming his rare cancer.
Committing to Our Mission
NFCR has always championed its long-term philosophy of taking risks and striving for new frontiers. When others fear failure and are hesitant to fund discoveries that hold great potential, NFCR takes that risk. We believe that high risk will lead to a high-reward and a future without cancer. Thanks to the support of our donor community, we are bridging the gap.
Stay tuned as we share more updates from our 2022 Global Summit. Join our mailing list to stay updated.