Society's Medal of Honor to be Awarded on November 21
NEW YORK, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society -- the nation's leading voluntary health organization and largest non-governmental funder of cancer research and discovery -- will present its highest honor, the Medal of Honor, to four Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the fight against cancer. This year's winners, who will receive their awards at a ceremony during the American Cancer Society's annual meeting in New York City, are: The Honorable Edward M. Kennedy, United States Senator from Massachusetts, for Cancer Control; Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., for Basic Research; Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., for Clinical Research; and Jon M. Huntsman for Cancer Philanthropy. The Medal of Honor, originally called the American Cancer Society Award, was first given in 1949.
Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy will be awarded the Medal of Honor for Cancer Control. Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.) is one of the great champions in the legislative fight against cancer. Throughout his more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate, he has fought tirelessly for health care-related causes, from equal access to health care to increased funding for cancer research and early detection cancer screenings. By authoring legislation on a variety of issues, Time magazine, in a 2006 article, speculated his work has affected the lives of virtually every "man, woman and child in the country."
Sen. Kennedy has been a passionate supporter of cancer research funding from his early days in office. As chairman of the Senate's health subcommittee in 1971, he led the passage of the National Cancer Act, which is widely considered the most dramatic piece of health legislation ever enacted. Representing a concerted national campaign against cancer, the law authorized increased funding for federal cancer research; today, it enables funding of more than $4 billion per year for federal cancer research.
The senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Sen. Kennedy has used his leadership to positively affect the status of the nation's health. He has fought for cancer-related issues such as tobacco control, patient navigator funding, and cancer prevention and early detection.
Sen. Kennedy has long had a commitment to fighting cancer. To raise awareness of early detection, he co-sponsored resolutions designating National Mammography Day in October and September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. He was a co-sponsor of the original legislation for the 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act to ensure the safety and accuracy of mammograms, and in 2004 he helped introduce the reauthorization bill, which allowed appropriations for grants to evaluate screening programs. In 2002, Sen. Kennedy co-sponsored legislation to help uninsured Native American women suffering from breast and cervical cancer benefit from federal and state resources for treatment. He has also worked to improve access to colon cancer screenings and has supported research and education related to blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Recognizing that smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S., Sen. Kennedy has been a leader in the bipartisan effort to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with jurisdiction to regulate the sale, distribution, and advertising of tobacco products. After a historic victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate now has the opportunity to pass the legislation.
In recent months, Sen. Kennedy has inspired millions of people across the country with his own heroic battle against brain cancer. In the upcoming 111th Congress, Sen. Kennedy looks forward to introducing comprehensive cancer legislation that will address the entire spectrum of cancer care -- from prevention to treatment to cure.
Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., distinguished scientist at the Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a faculty of the comparative biochemistry and a number of other groups at the
Dr. Bissell has authored in excess of 300 publications, is a member of five international scientific boards, and is on the editorial board of a dozen scientific journals, including Science magazine. She has given more than eighty 'named and distinguished' lectures. Her awards include the Lawrence Award and medal; the Mellon Award from the
Dr. Bissell has been elected as a Fellow of AAAS, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She served as President of the American Society of Cell Biology and the International Society of Differentiation. She has received honorary doctorates from Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris and the
Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., will be awarded the Society's Medal of Honor for Clinical Research. Dr. Horwitz is an internationally recognized molecular pharmacologist who has made major contributions to our understanding of antitumor drugs. Her pioneering research in identifying the mechanism of action of Taxol(R), as an inhibitor of cell division due to its interaction with microtubules, led to clinical trials of this drug in the mid-1980s. Taxol(R) is now involved in the first line of treatment in many cancers, including ovarian, breast and non-small cell lung cancer. The drug has been administered to more than one million patients. Dr. Horwitz is currently Distinguished Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of
Throughout her long career, Dr. Horwitz has authored more than 250 publications that have enhanced our knowledge of antitumor drugs, including mechanisms of drug resistance. Among the numerous awards Dr. Horwitz has received are the Cain Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research; the ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics; the Chester Stock Award from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and the Warren Alpert Foundation Award from
Jon M. Huntsman, founder and chairman of Huntsman Corporation -- a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals, and one of the nation's most generous philanthropists -- will receive the Society's Medal of Honor for Cancer Philanthropy. Mr. Huntsman and his wife, Karen, have raised or personally contributed over $600 million to the fight against cancer. In 1995, the Huntsman family joined in an unparalleled scientific quest to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer at its source by donating $100 million to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the
These donations, along with subsequent gifts and grants, have helped the Huntsman Cancer Institute build a team of world-renowned specialists and provide treatment services unmatched in the region and numbered among the best in America. A survivor of three types of cancer himself, Huntsman lost his mother, father and stepmother to the disease.
Other notable gifts include Huntsman's donation of over $50 million to the
Medal of Honor recipients for 2008 are chosen by the American Cancer Society's National Awards Committee. Past honorees include George N. Papanicolau, M.D., inventor of the Pap test; Robert C. Gallo, M.D., recognized for his achievements in pioneering the field of human retrovirology; Judath Folkman, M.D., a leading researcher in the field of antiangiogenesis; C. Everett Koop, M.D., former U.S. Surgeon General; former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; advice authors Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren; Benno Schmidt Sr., former chairman of the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Dennis Slamon, M.D., director of the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program at
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering, and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
|SOURCE American Cancer Society|
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