American Association for Cancer Research

Centennial Medal Honorees

AACR Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service

To mark the 100th anniversary of the AACR, the AACR Board of Directors – a distinguished panel of senior cancer scientists – established the AACR Centennial medal to honor individuals in the public arena who have made significant and sustained contributions in the fight against cancer through their extraordinary contributions to cancer research advocacy and awareness. Recipients of the prestigious AACR Centennial Medal for Distinguished Public Service are:

Lance ArmstrongLance Armstrong
Chairman and Founder, Lance Armstrong Foundation

Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and seven-time Tour De France winner, founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) in 1997. He is honored for his excellence and leadership in advocacy for cancer survivors. In choosing to share with the world his personal history with cancer, he has used his influence to advocate for cancer research and survivorship, inspiring individuals to raise funds and spurring scientists toward a cure. Through the LIVESTRONG campaign with its signature yellow bracelets worn by 55 million people worldwide, LAF has raised millions of dollars and tremendously increased public awareness about cancer.

In his role as a mentor for the President's Cancer Panel, Armstrong has been an effective advocate for ensuring that cancer retains a prominent place in the national dialogue.

Ambassador Nancy BrinkerAmbassador Nancy Brinker
Founder, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, is recognized for her significant and sustained effort in the fight against breast cancer. Now celebrating the organization's 25th year, Ambassador Brinker's vision and leadership has led Komen to be an internationally recognized organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing cancer education, screening, treatment and research. Through its successful Komen Race for the Cure, the foundation and its 125 affiliates have invested nearly $1 billion dollars in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment, making Komen – aside from the federal government – the single largest source of funds for breast cancer research and programs in the United States.

Ambassador Brinker has also been a strong advocate in the political arena, serving on the National Cancer Advisory Board, the President's Cancer Panel and the steering committee of the National Dialogue on Cancer. She is also a member of the AACR's Council of Scientific Advisors.

The Honorable Arlen SpecterThe Honorable Arlen Specter
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania's longest serving U.S. Senator, is Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a senior member of the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs Committees, and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Senator Specter brings remarkable leadership to the fight against cancer. His personal strength in battling cancer while carrying on his critical duties in the United States Senate is a tribute to his courage and dedication to public service. Specter's past advocacy in support of lifesaving medical advances, stem cell research, and legislation to strengthen cancer research, prevention and treatment truly illustrates progress in cancer research.

AACR acknowledges and honors Senator Specter's willingness to share his personal struggle and his message of hope with Americans and people with cancer throughout the world.

The Honorable Daniel K. InouyeThe Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
U.S. Senator, Hawaii

Daniel K. Inouye, the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, is known for his distinguished record as a legislative leader and as a World War II combat veteran who earned the nation's highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and is now serving his eighth consecutive term.

Senator Inouye, who lost his wife of 57 years to cancer in 2006, has played an important role in establishing and funding the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center. The center, uniquely suited to draw its research from an ethnically diverse population, produces research that sheds new light on how genetic, cultural, dietary and environmental factors influence the incidence of cancer.

The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauroThe Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
U.S. Representative, Connecticut (3rd Congressional District)

Congresswoman DeLauro was first elected to Congress from Connecticut's Third District in 1990, and is currently serving her tenth term. During her tenure in Congress, DeLauro has taken a special interest in health care issues, leading the fight for affordable, quality health care. She has worked aggressively to lower the rising costs of prescription drugs. As a result of her efforts, the U.S. House passed legislation allowing the importation of drugs from countries like Canada. A survivor of ovarian cancer, DeLauro has been a leading voice for increasing critical cancer research. Her work led to passage of "Johanna's Law" in the 109th Congress - a law that will increase awareness of the gynecologic cancers. DeLauro has fought to increase funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings and research and has authored legislation to ensure longer hospital stays for women undergoing breast cancer surgery. She led an effort to enact national legislation to address underage drinking in our country. In the 109th Congress, "The STOP (Sober Truth on Preventing) Underage Drinking Act" became law.

The Honroable Sue Myrick and Dr. Margaret FotiThe Honorable Sue Myrick
U.S. Representative, North Carolina (9th Congressional District)

Representative Myrick came to Congress in 1995 after building a successful advertising and public relations business, and serving two terms as mayor of Charlotte, NC, the state's largest city and commercial hub. She is currently in her eighth term representing North Carolina's 9th district. A breast cancer survivor, Myrick co-chairs the House Cancer Caucus. She has successfully championed legislation aimed at stopping the deadly disease through increased research, education, early detection, and development of promising new medical therapies.