American Association for Cancer Research

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AACR-ACS Award for Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention to Honor Dr. Laurence N. Kolonel

April 5, 2013

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will recognize Laurence N. Kolonel, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., with the 22nd AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10.

The AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention was established in 1992 to honor outstanding research accomplishments in the fields of cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention. Kolonel will give his lecture, “Advancing Epidemiologic Research: Studies in ‘Special’ Populations,” on Tuesday, April 9, at 3 p.m. ET in Ballroom A-B in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Kolonel was professor in the Cancer Epidemiology Program at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and a professor of public health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, in Honolulu.

Kolonel began his career studying ethnicity and cancer among Japanese immigrants and other ethnic groups in Hawaii in the 1970s and was one of the first to establish a cancer registry that included ethnic and racial minorities in the United States. As a pioneer in the study of the etiology of cancer, Kolonel is recognized for his work on the ethnic and racial disparities of cancer, as well as his research on the role of diet and lifestyle in cancer causation. His studies were critical in establishing that diet and lifestyle modifications had enormous potential to prevent cancer. Kolonel’s work has resulted in more than 450 original, peer-reviewed articles.

One of Kolonel’s most notable achievements was his leadership in establishing a multiethnic cohort of more than 200,000 participants, primarily individuals of African-American, Japanese, Latino, Native Hawaiian and Caucasian origin. In addition, biological specimens were obtained from approximately 70,000 of the cohort participants to form a unique biorepository of blood and urine samples. Analysis of data obtained from the cohort has already led to many important cancer discoveries, including the identification of a genetic variation linked to risk for prostate cancer, especially among men of African-American origin. Ongoing and future studies are expected to clarify the risk factors associated with different cancer risks among the five predominant ethnicities represented in the cohort.   
Kolonel graduated from Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass., with a degree in chemistry and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Mass. Kolonel received a master’s degree in public health and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he served as a major in the U.S. Air Force from 1972 to 1974.

Throughout his distinguished career, Kolonel has received many honors, including the MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2002, in recognition of his Multiethnic Cohort Study. He received a Regents Medal for Excellence in Research at the University of Hawaii in 2003 and was named the 2005 “Scientist of the Year” by the Honolulu chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation. In addition, Kolonel was a visiting scholar at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the NCI and is a former associate editor of the AACR journals Cancer Research and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Lauren Riley
(215) 446-7155
In Washington, D.C.,
April 6-10, 2013:

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