What is the Szent-Györgyi Prize?
The Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was established in honor of NFCR’s co-founder, Albert Szent-Györgyi, M.D., Ph.D., who received the 1937 Nobel Prize for his study of vitamin C and cell respiration. The prize is a symbol of NFCR’s enduring commitment to uphold Dr. Szent-Györgyi’s vision of curing cancer through innovation and collaboration.
The annual prize honors scientists who have made an original discovery or breakthrough in scientific understanding that has had a lasting impact on the cancer field and a direct impact of saving people’s lives. In addition to winning the coveted award itself, prize recipients are given a $30,000 honorarium and attend a gala in their honor. The award serves to highlight the essential role basic research plays in understanding cancer.
Nominations for the Prize may be made by individuals from the research community, industry, government, or other organizations who are sufficiently familiar with the research accomplishments and contributions of the nominee. Self-nominations are not accepted. Candidates must have made an original discovery or breakthrough in scientific understanding that has led to better prevention, earlier diagnosis, or new treatments for patients with cancer.
The Szent-Györgyi Prize Selection Committee has been established to advise and consult with the National Foundation for Cancer Research on each year’s pool of Prize nominees.
The Prize Winner each year will serve as the selection chair of the Szent-Györgyi Prize Selection Committee for the following year.
2021 Award Recipients
Dr. Mak and Dr. Davis were awarded for their breakthrough discoveries of the structure of T-cell receptor (TCR) and pioneering research in deciphering the mechanisms of T-cell recognition and development.
Dr. Mak is a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and university professor at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Davis is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Their discoveries have formed a critical part of contemporary immuno-oncology and the molecular foundation for life-saving CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapies, a novel T-cell-based immunotherapy approach already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of several types of blood cancer.
2020 Award Recipient
Dr. Horwitz was awarded for pioneering the understanding, at the molecular level, of the mechanisms of action and resistance of multiple effective and widely utilized anti-tumor drugs of natural origin.
A Distinguished Professor and Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, she is well-known for her work surrounding the blockbuster cancer drug, Taxol. Her work enabled the successful translation of the drug into the clinic, and it is now one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world for the treatment of ovarian, breast and lung cancers.
2021 Szent-Györgyi Prize Ceremony
Saturday, October 30, 2021