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Cancer Research Institute Celebrating 60th Anniversary, Honoring Immunotherapy Leaders

NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a New York-based nonprofit committed to developing immune system-based cancer treatments, is presenting serial tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker and MedImmune biotech head Dr. Bahija Jallal with its highest honor for people exceptionally dedicated to advancing cancer research. They will receive the award at CRI's 27th annual awards dinner on Sep. 30 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Cancer Research Institute is also celebrating its 60th year dedicated to funding and finding immunotherapy treatments for cancer with an "Immunotherapy Rocks Cancer" theme. Cancer immunotherapy is a new class of cancer treatment that mobilizes the immune system to fight the disease and represents the most immediate hope for curing patients with any type of cancer.

"We are so pleased to reach this huge milestone for Cancer Research Institute at such an exciting time in the field of cancer immunology," said Jill O'Donnell Tormey, Ph.D., CEO and director of scientific affairs at CRI. "The research and treatments happening right now are really fulfilling the promise that we've seen in cancer immunology for decades. That's why we honor the people who are so dedicated to advancing this field and making it a reality."

This year CRI will give the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research to Sean Parker for his work with Stand Up to Cancer and outstanding dedication to cancer immunotherapy through funding support of the SU2C-CRI Cancer Immunology Translational Research Dream Team. The second recipient of the award is Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of AstraZeneca and head of MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. Dr. Jallal is being honored for her work as part of the groundbreaking collaboration between MedImmune, CRI and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to bring three promising immunotherapies into clinical trials.

"I'm honored to receive this award, but more importantly, I'm excited to partner with organizations like the CRI and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to explore the potential of immune mediated therapies and the promise they have to become the cornerstone of future cancer treatments and help millions of patients who desperately need new treatment options," said Dr. Jallal.

In addition to the Grace Award, at the dinner CRI will bestow the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology and the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology, which are presented annually to scientists whose outstanding contributions to cancer immunology have made a tremendous impact on the lives of cancer patients.

Nightline anchor and ABC News reporter Bill Weir will emcee the event. Folk, soul, blues and pop music duo JohnnySwim will provide musical entertainment.

Event Contact
Lynne Harmer, Director of Special Events or (212) 688-7515, ext. 226

About the Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world's only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 30 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $240 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world's leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to

About the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research

This award, established in 1995, recognizes the contributions of dedicated laypersons whose leadership has had a significant impact on cancer research. The award is named in memory of the late Oliver R. Grace, founding chairman of the Cancer Research Institute, whose vision, wisdom and generosity benefited the Institute for nearly 40 years.

Former Grace Award winners include: Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Corporation chairman and CEO (2012); Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., Dendreon Corporation (2011); American fashion designer Michael Kors (2010); Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (2010); Fred Hassan, chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corporation (2009); Wade F.B. Thompson, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Thor Industries (2007); Julian H. Robertson Jr., chairman, Tiger Management LLC (2006); Katie Couric, anchor of CBS Evening News (2002); and Andrea Jung, Avon Products, Inc. CEO (2001). To view a complete list of Grace Award recipients, go to

SOURCE Cancer Research Institute
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