2017 Honorees

James P. Allison
Dr. Allison (B.S., Ph.D., The University of Texas, Austin) is Chairman of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX and serves as Director of CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council. For the past 30 years he has been studying T cells and was one of the first to identify the T cell receptor in the early 1980s. He then showed that a molecule known as CD28 functions as the T cell’s ‘gas pedal’, and subsequently discovered the T cell’s ‘brakes’. This discovery opened up an entire new perspective in cancer treatment. This new treatment approach is called checkpoint blockade which uses antibodies to block the action of the ‘braking’ molecule and enabling more powerful anti-cancer response. In 2013, Science magazine cited Dr. Allison’s work and declared cancer immunotherapy the “breakthrough of the year.”

David Baltimore
Dr. Baltimore (B.A., Swarthmore College; Ph.D., Rockefeller University) is the American Cancer Society Professor of Microbiology and a Professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. In 1975, Dr. Baltimore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Renato Dulbecco and Howard Martin Temin “for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell”. He is well known for his work in discovering that viruses with genomes consisting of RNA can also be inserted into the DNA of a host cell through an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. This discovery led to the modification of the rule that genetic information could only be transferred in one direction. He has received numerous awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1999.

George P. Canellos
Dr. Canellos (M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons) is a senior physician at DFCI and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. He was a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute and a research fellow at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London. Additionally, he was the chief of DFCI’s Division of Medical Oncology and medical director for Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare from 1975 to 1995. He is known for his work with Dr. Vincent T. DeVita in developing the combination chemotherapy CMF for breast cancer therapy, and in . developing the four-drug combination known as MOPP which increased the cure rate of Hodgkin’s disease patients to 70 percent. A past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, he is a also former President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.