American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research

John F. DiPersio, M.D., Ph.D.  19th Annual Award Recipient
John F. DiPersio, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Oncology
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Mo.

Dr. DiPersio will deliver his award lecture titled GvHD vs. GvL…and the winner is? at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 in San Diego, Calif. The award ceremony and lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the San Diego Convention Center. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 page for more information.

The Award and Lecture

This award was established in 1996 to recognize outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research. It is named for the late Dr. Joseph H. Burchenal, honorary member and past president of the AACR, and a major figure in clinical cancer research and chemotherapy.

The recipient of the 19th Annual AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research will give a 50-minute lecture during the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, in San Diego, Calif., USA (April 5-9, 2014), receive an honorarium of $10,000, and will be given support for the winner and a guest to attend the annual meeting.  

Eligibility

  • Candidacy is open to all cancer researchers who are affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine or cancer-related biomedical science anywhere in the world. Such institutions include those in academia, industry, or government.
  • The award will be presented to an individual investigator.
  • Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.

Nomination Procedure and Instructions

Nominations are closed.

Nominations may be made by any scientist, whether an AACR member or nonmember, who is now or has been affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine or cancer-related biomedical science. Candidates may not nominate themselves.

Selection

Candidates will be considered by a Selection Committee of international cancer leaders appointed by the president of the AACR. After careful deliberations by the committee, its recommendations will be forwarded to the Executive Committee of the AACR for final consideration and decision. Selection of the award recipient will be made on the basis of the candidate's achievements in clinical cancer research. No regard will be given to age, race, gender, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.

Supporter

Generously supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Questions?

Linda Stokes, Program Associate
American Association for Cancer Research
615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
awards@aacr.org

SPOTLIGHT

   John F. DiPersio, M.D., Ph.D.  19th Annual Award Recipient
John F. DiPersio, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Oncology
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Mo.

Dr. John DiPersio is honored for his outstanding clinical-translational research that has produced multiple advances related to understanding and treating acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Dr. DiPersio is the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman professor of medicine and chief of oncology at Washington University School of Medicine, and the deputy director of Siteman Cancer Center.

Dr. DiPersio has approached treatment of AML from several aspects. He has studied mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy in AML, focusing on the role of the microenvironment. He has identified factors in the microenvironment that contribute to chemoresistance and worked on an approach to release leukemia cells from that microenvironment by blocking the chemokine receptor CXCR4. His studies have shown that mobilization of AML cells using plerixafor (AMD3100) increases sensitivity to chemotherapy.

 A phase I/II clinical trial testing this hypothesis is ongoing, combining plerixafor with mitoxantrone, etoposide, and cytarabine.

In a second important aspect of his research, Dr. DiPersio has supported and been a project leader in the Washington University “Genomics of AML” program which has accomplished so much in unlocking the molecular origins of leukemia. A series of mutations have been identified in sequencing studies of AML samples. Dr. DiPersio has particularly focused on genomic and transcriptional aberrations in chemotherapy and allogeneic T-cell resistant AML cells. It is hoped that these studies will identify mutations or alterations in gene expression that confer resistance alone or in combination with other factors. Identification of specific targets raises the hope of developing small molecules or antibodies against those targets.
 

Finally, Dr. DiPersio studied in clinical trials a series of small molecules for their activity in AML and the related myelodysplastic syndrome. These molecules include, among others, epigenetic agents, mTOR inhibitors, and kinase inhibitors. He has also studied graft vs. host disease, in an effort to mitigate that complication of allogeneic stem-cell transplantation. These different approaches to improving the therapy of AML represent a body of work that has moved the field forward, identifying new targets for treatment, and studies to reduce toxicity of therapy.

Dr. DiPersio received his medical degree from The University of Rochester, and completed his residency in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, and then completed a fellowship in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has received multiple honors and awards, and has served on numerous review panels, study sections, and advisory boards. He was chosen to speak in the NIH Great Teacher Series. Dr. DiPersio, a member of the AACR, is also known as an excellent teacher and mentor. He has trained numerous students and fellows, and has consistently obtained NCI and other organizational grant funding.
 

Together, these efforts at bringing new ideas and discoveries to the clinic emulate the work of Dr. Burchenal in persistently translating basic research to the bedside.