2019 Honorees

John C. Byrd
John C. Byrd, M.D. Dr. Byrd is the D. Warren Brown Chair of Leukemia Research, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, and Senior Advisor for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics at The Ohio State University. A graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, AR, he earned his medical degree at the University of Arkansas, and later completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and a postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University. His clinical practice focuses on caring for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). With the goal of eradicating the need for chemotherapy in the treatment of leukemia, Dr. Byrd leads clinical trials on new classes of drugs and novel agents. A Fellow in the American College of Physicians, member of ASCI and AAP, and recipient of many honors, he has published more than 500 scholarly papers on clinical and laboratory investigations into AML and CLL.

 

Paul Greengard
Paul Greengard, Ph.D. Dr. Greengard is Vincent Astor Professor, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and since 1995, Director of the Fisher Center For Alzheimer’s Disease Research at The Rockefeller University. He received his Ph.D. in biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1953. He served as Director of Biochemistry at Geigy (now Novartis) Research Laboratories until 1968, when he was appointed Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Yale University. In 1983 he moved to The Rockefeller University in his current position. Dr. Greengard is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2000,
Dr. Greengard was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Greengard donated his entire Nobel honorarium to create the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding women scientists.  The prize is named in memory of his mother, who died giving birth to him.

 

William J. Kaelin
William J. Kaelin, Jr., M.D. Dr. Kaelin is the Sidney Farber Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Medicine at the DanaFarber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.  He obtained undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Duke University and completed his internal medicine training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident.  Dr. Kaelin’s research seeks to understand how mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer.  His laboratory is  currently focused on studies of the VHL, RB-1, and p53 tumor suppressor genes.  His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of such proteins. For example, his work motivated the successful testing of VEGF inhibitors (7 now FDA approved) and HIF2 inhibitors (currently entering Phase 3 trials) for kidney cancer. A recipient of many honors, including the Canada International Gairdner Award and the Albert Lasker Prize, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, American Society of Clinical Investigation, and American College of Physicians.

 

Robert S. Langer, Sc.D. 
Dr. Langer is Institute Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in chemical engineering.  He has written more than 1,450 articles and has over 1,350  issued and pending patents worldwide.  Dr. Langer has launched over 30 companies and his patents have been licensed to over 350 companies.  He is one of the ten most cited individuals and the most cited engineers in history.  Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards around the world and is one of four living people to receive both the U.S. National Medal of Science and the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  He is also the first engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 87 recipients of which have subsequently received a Nobel Prize.

 

Antoni Ribas
Antoni Ribas. M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Ribas is Professor of Medicine, professor of Surgery and professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) Center at UCLA. Dr. Ribas trained at the University of Barcelona in Spain, and received  postdoctoral training at UCLA.  Dr. Ribas and his colleagues are conducting studies aimed at understanding how the immune system can be effectively used to treat cancer, focusing on the ability to activate killer immune cells specifically targeted to the cancer.  He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the recipient of the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, and a NCI Outstanding Investigator Award, among other honors.