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AACR CEO Margaret Foti receives honorary M.D. from the University of San Pablo CEU

MADRID The University of San Pablo CEU, a major academic and research institution in Madrid, Spain, today presented Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research, with an honorary doctorate in medicine that recognizes her exceptional contributions to cancer research and leadership of the AACR, which have done so much to help those suffering from cancer.

"Margaret Foti exemplifies the social leadership and management needed worldwide for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Her tireless efforts on behalf of patients and scientists are now visible through the impressive resources that AACR is providing today to the international scientific community. Her years devoted to cancer research development and communication have inspired several generations of scientists to move forward to even greater heights, and we are proud to honor her with this degree," Fernando Vidal-Vanaclocha, M.D., professor at Basque Country University and pioneer of cancer metastasis research in Spain, said at today's ceremony.

Vidal-Vanaclocha presented Foti with the degree of M.D. "honoris causa." The degree is the first of its kind given in the University's 75-year history.

"Such awards in themselves have a special significance, but I personally believe that this is an honor that does justice to your exceptional work in the field of cancer research and to your leadership of an international organization that has done so much to advance our knowledge about cancer diseases and, therefore, to help those suffering from cancer," said Vidal-Vanaclocha.

Foti had been notified of the degree by the Governing Council of the University chaired by Alfredo Dagnino and was sworn in as M.D. "honoris causa" by the University Rector Alfonso Bullon de Mendoza.

"I am deeply humbled by this extraordinary recognition of my work, and I want to thank the university for seeing fit to honor me," said Foti. "This honorary degree is recognition of the hard work of all our members around the world, as well as our AACR staff, all of whom are working hard every day to solve the problem of cancer, which is truly worldwide."

Foti said the global burden of cancer continues to increase by about one percent per year, with even greater increases in China, India and Russia.

"Cancer is expected to surpass cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death worldwide in 2010, and global incidence of cancer has more than doubled in three decades," said Foti. "This rapid increase represents a crisis in public health, and there is an increasing sense of urgency worldwide for us to find solutions to the cancer problem."

The University of San Pablo CEU was founded to develop future leaders of Spanish society, and its alumni include ministers, heads of major national and international companies, writers, artists, academics and scientists. The university currently serves just over 7,000 students and has 890 faculty members.

Foti has been CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research since 1982. During her tenure, the membership has grown from 3,000 to more than 28,000 scientists residing in nearly 90 countries. She began her career as an editorial assistant for Cancer Research, the most highly cited cancer journal in the world and was rapidly promoted to managing editor. Under Foti's leadership as CEO, the AACR has launched five additional journals that together contribute approximately 20 percent of all peer reviewed cancer literature.

In addition, the AACR holds 20 meetings a year on timely scientific subjects and five educational workshops that train basic and clinical scientists. The AACR also facilitates programs on survivorship issues, plays a key role in science policy and is the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer, a groundbreaking cancer funding initiative.

The honorary degree she received today is Foti's third. In 2003, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Rome La Sapienza, and in 2008 she received a second Honorary Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Catania in Sicily.

Foti has received many national and international awards for her contributions to cancer research: the Award of Appreciation from the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Chairpersons, the Award with Recognition and Appreciation from the Israel Cancer Association, the Italian League Against Cancer Commendation, the Distinguished Service Award from the George Washington University Medical Center's GW Cancer Institute, the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the AACR Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, the Ville de Paris Award, the Cina del Duca Award for raising public awareness of cancer globally, the Community Caring Award from the William S. Graham Foundation for Melanoma Research, and the Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Most recently, in March of this year, she received the first Margaret Kripke Legend Award from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Last month she was cited by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for her dedication to increasing awareness of the importance of cancer research.


Contact: Jeremy Moore
American Association for Cancer Research

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