AACR Team Science Award Recipients

2017 The International Liquid Biopsy Initiative Team

Luis A. Diaz, Nishant Agrawal, Chetan Bettegowda, Frank Diehl, Peter Gibbs, Stanley R. Hamilton, Ralph H. Hruban, Hartmut Juhl, Isaac Kinde, Kenneth Kinzler, Martin Nowak, Nickolas Papadopoulos, David Sidransky, Jeanne Tie, Victor E. Velculescu, Bert Vogelstein

The team members received their awards at the Opening Ceremony which was held Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Washington, D.C., in the Washington Convention Center.

The AACR Team Science Award has been established by the American Association for Cancer Research and Eli Lilly and Company to acknowledge and catalyze the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the understanding of cancer and/or the translation of research discoveries into clinical cancer applications.

The AACR Team Science Award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or likely will advance our fundamental knowledge of cancer or a team that has applied existing knowledge to advance the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer.

The AACR recognizes the team for pioneering the concept of utilizing cancer mutations as biomarkers in the context of a liquid biopsies. This remarkable collaborative effort, which has spanned two decades of research, has led to dramatic technological advancements in detecting cancer and defined a new field in oncology. Furthermore, these studies have contributed to the development of an FDA-approved DNA-based screening test for cancer, which is expected to revolutionize our approach to colorectal cancer screening in the next decade.

This multidisciplinary team pioneered the concept of "liquid biopsies", i.e., the use of somatic mutations as exquisitely specific biomarkers for solid tumors. This work, which started in the 1990’s by team members Vogelstein, Sidranksy, and Kinzler, includes the initial proof-of-principle studies, the development of advanced technologies that made it feasible, and the demonstration of its value for research and clinical practice.

The work of this outstanding interdisciplinary team on the application of cancer mutations as specific diagnostic biomarker, represents a major advance in the translation of basic research into clinical cancer applications. Each team member has made important contributions in the conceptualization, development, and application of somatic mutations as dynamic biomarkers in liquid biopsies of solid tumor malignancies.

The discoveries made through the efforts of this team will have a positive impact on patient care in the years to come. Through their outstanding scientific accomplishments and commitment to foster team science, the innovative and meritorious work of this team clearly embodies the spirit of the AACR Team Science Award.

Award Recipients

2017 The International Liquid Biopsy Initiative Team

Luis A. Diaz, Nishant Agrawal, Chetan Bettegowda, Frank Diehl, Peter Gibbs, Stanley R. Hamilton, Ralph H. Hruban, Hartmut Juhl, Isaac Kinde, Kenneth Kinzler, Martin Nowak, Nickolas Papadopoulos, David Sidransky, Jeanne Tie, Victor E. Velculescu, Bert Vogelstein

2016 Women's Health Initiative Team

Ross L. Prentice, Garnet L. Anderson, Bette Caan, Rowan T. Chlebowski, Rebecca D. Jackson, Charles Kooperberg, JoAnn E. Manson, Electra D. Paskett, Jacques E. Rossouw, Sally A. Shumaker, Marcia L. Stefanick, Cynthia Ann Thomson, Jean Wactawski-Wende

For its collective efforts that have broadened our understanding of the effects of hormone therapy and nutrition on cancer.

2015 Designing AR Inhibitors Team

Charles L. Sawyers, Michael E. Jung, Howard Scher

For their collective efforts in discovering and developing the novel anti-androgen drugs enzalutamide and ARN-509 for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.

2014 Duke University/Johns Hopkins, and NCI Malignant Brain Tumor Team

Darell D. Bigner, Bert Vogelstein, Ira H. Pastan, Daniel Barboriak, Oren J. Becher, Thomas J. Cummings, Annick Desjardins, Luis A. Diaz, Allan H. Friedman, Henry S. Friedman, Matthias Gromeier, Sridharan Gururangan, Yiping He, Kenneth W. Kinzler, Chien-Tsun Kuan, Roger E. McLendon, Nickolas Papadopoulos, Katherine B. Peters, Tulika Ranjan, B. K. Ahmed Rasheed, John H. Sampson, Victor E. Velculescu, Gordana Vlahovic, Jason A. Watts, Hai Yan, and Michael R. Zalutsky

For their findings having informed both the basic science and clinical communities in managing diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of brain tumors.

2013 Johns Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Sequencing Team in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins University

Ralph H. Hruban, N. Volkan Adsay, Peter J. Allen, Michael A. Choti, Luis A. Diaz, James R. Eshleman, Michael G. Goggins, Joseph M. Herman, Christine A. Iacobuzio-Donahue, Scott E. Kern, Kenneth W. Kinzler, Alison P. Klein, David S. Klimstra, Anirban Maitra, Alan K. Meeker, Nickolas Papadopoulos, Victor E. Velculescu, Bert Vogelstein, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Laura DeLong Wood

In recognition of having discovered a new cancer pathway and new familial pancreatic cancer genes. They have defined the time course for the development of pancreatic neoplasia, and have shown that each of the four cystic tumors of the pancreas has a unique mutational profile. These sequencing efforts have revolutionized the understanding of the fundamental genetic changes that characterize pancreatic cancer. Importantly, the team's work has immediate clinical implications. 

2012 The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Royal Marsden Hospital: Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit and Drug Development Units

Bissan Al-Lazikani, Udai Banerji, Julian Blagg, Ian Collins, Johann De Bono, Sue Eccles, Michelle Garrett, Swen Hoelder, Keith Jones, Stan Kaye, Spiros Linardopoulos, Richard Marais, Flo Raynaud, Caroline Springer, Rob van Montfort, Paul Workman

In recognition of their tremendous impact in the preclinical discovery and clinical development of innovative cancer therapeutics. The team, comprising experts in cancer biology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and medical oncology, was responsible with its academic and industrial partners for the discovery of 16 drug development candidates over the past six years. Six of these candidates entered clinical trials, including highly promising inhibitors of androgen biosynthesis (CYP17), heat shock protein 90, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, protein kinase B/AKT, and cyclin-dependent kinases. The team also carried out pioneering preclinical work on BRAF and its inhibitors and discovered CHK1 and dual Aurora/FLT3 inhibitors.

2011 Seattle HPV Research Team

Janet R. Daling, Denise A. Galloway, James Hughes, Nancy B. Kiviat, Laura Koutsky, Margaret M. Madeleine, Constance Mao, Barbara McKnight, Peggy L. Porter, Stephen M. Schwartz, Hisham K. Tamimi, Long-fu Xi

In recognition for taking an interdisciplinary approach to study the natural history of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the role that a subset of HPVs plays in the etiology of anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. These studies have contributed to development of vaccines to prevent infection and cancer. 

2010 Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team

Michael J. Eck, Jeffery Engelman, Nathanael S. Gray, Daniel A. Haber, Pasi A. Jänne, Bruce E. Johnson, Susumu Kobayashi, Eunice L. Kwak, Neal Lindeman, Thomas J. Lynch, Shyamala Maheswaran, Matthew L. Meyerson, Lecia V. Sequist, Jeffery Settleman, Daniel G. Tenen, Mehmet Toner, Kwok-Kin Wong 

In recognition for demonstrating mutations of EGFR in lung cancer cell lines and patients are closely associated with dramatic responses to treatment with gefitinib or erlotinib. Their in vitro and clinical work identified two novel mechanisms of resistance to gefitinib and erlotinib and have developed therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance.

2009 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Team

Dario Campana, Cheng Cheng, James R. Downing, William E. Evans, Melissa M. Hudson, Sima Jeha, Charles Mullighan, Ching-Hon Pui, Susana C. Raimondi, Mary V. Relling, Raul C. Ribeiro 

In recognition of their seminal laboratory discoveries that unraveled mechanisms of leukemogenesis and drug resistance; the identification of novel therapeutic targets; and the integration of biologic, genomic, and pharmacologic discoveries into comprehensive clinical protocols all leading to markedly improved cure rates of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

2008 University of California San Francisco, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Donna G. Albertson, Jane Fridyland, Joe W. Gray, Ajay Jain, Anne H. Kallioniemi, Olli-Pekka Kallioniemi, Robert Nordmeyer, Norma J. Nowak, Daniel Pinkel, Antoine Sniders, Damir Sudar and Frederick M. Waldmann

In recognition of a team of clinicians, physicists, biochemists, statisticians, computer scientists and engineers at the University of California San Francisco, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute for the conception, technical implementation, dissemination and pioneering applications of comparative genomic hybridization or CGH, and array CGHin.

2007 University of Michigan-Brigham and Women's Hospital Team

Xuhong Cao, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Saravana Dhanasekaran, Rohit Mehra, James Montie, Kenneth Pienta, Robin Rasor, Daniel Rhodes, Rajal Shah, Scott A. Tomlins, Sooryanarayana Varambally,  and John Wei of the University of Michigan; and Francesca Demichelis, Charles Lee, Sven Perner, and Mark A. Rubin of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

In recognition of their landmark discovery of recurrent gene fusions in a majority of prostate cancers, which has profound clinical and biological implications for understanding prostate cancers, and their embodiment of team science through interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration.