American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Press Releases

AACR Honors Visionary Leader with Distinguished Service and Global Impact in Cancer and Biomedical Research Award

March 25, 2011

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The American Association for Cancer Research will present the Honorable John Edward Porter (R-Ill.) with the 2011 AACR Award for Distinguished Service and Global Impact in Cancer and Biomedical Research. Porter, chairman of Research!America and acting chair of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was chosen for this special award because of his significant and sustained contributions to cancer and biomedical research, including his leadership of the effort to double the budget of the NIH.

This is a fitting award at a time when we are on the doorstep of a national crisis in funding for cancer and biomedical research. The last time the House of Representatives proposed such draconian cuts for the NIH was in 1995 when Congressman Porter, as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, assembled a team of Nobel Laureates and other leaders to convince the speaker of the House to reject a proposed 25 percent funding reduction in the NIH’s budget over five years. The halt in funding cuts was followed by Porter’s commitment to doubling the NIH budget, an historic initiative that has resulted in significant advancements in biomedical research and patient care.

“The AACR wishes to extend its profound thanks to Congressman Porter for making cancer and biomedical research his highest national priority while serving as chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that allocates funding to the NIH,” said Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., president of the AACR. “We are deeply grateful to Congressman Porter for his vision and leadership in the promotion of improved public health and we are thrilled to honor him with this prestigious award.”

“Because of Congressman Porter’s commitment to funding research, both senior and junior scientists have been able to continue their important work,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Through his bold, heroic action on Capitol Hill, Congressman Porter has dramatically improved public health and saved an incalculable number of lives, not only in the United States, but also around the world.”

The AACR Award for Distinguished Service and Global Impact in Cancer and Biomedical Research will be presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 during the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, April 3 at 8:15 a.m. ET in the Orange County Convention Center.

Porter is a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan Lovells. Porter served 21 years as U.S. congressman from the 10th district in Illinois, where he served on the Appropriations Committee and chaired the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Under his subcommittee’s jurisdiction were health programs and agencies, including the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the education and labor programs and agencies of the federal government.

Porter is a member of the Institute of Medicine. He holds more than 275 awards for his service in Congress, including the AACR Distinguished Public Service Award, which he received in 1996, and the Mary Wood Lasker Award for Public Service. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, and, with distinction, of the University of Michigan Law School. Porter holds nine honorary degrees for his extraordinary, sage leadership in Congress on a wide range of issues that impact public welfare.

In addition to receiving the 2011 AACR Distinguished Service and Global Impact in Cancer and Biomedical Research Award at the Annual Meeting, Porter will be a panelist in the science policy session entitled, “The Outlook for Cancer Research in the Coming Years: The Importance of Advocacy and Government Relations,” held on Sunday, April 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET in room W414 A/B of the Orange County Convention Center.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.

Media Contact:
Michele Sharp
(267) 646-0622
In Orlando, April 2-6:
(407) 685-4001