Dr. Leonard Zon Honored With 2017 AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecture


​PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will award the 13th AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship to Leonard I. Zon, MD, Grousbeck professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, during the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, to be held April 1-5 in Washington.

Zon is being honored for his scientific contributions to establishing zebrafish as an effective animal model system by which to study hematopoiesis and blood-related cancers and for his efforts associated with understanding fundamental stem cell biology, most notably with regards to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and migration.

The AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2004 to acknowledge an individual whose outstanding personal innovation in science and whose position as a thought leader in fields relevant to cancer research has the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research. The recipient is selected by the AACR President.

Zon will deliver his lecture, “Changing Cell Fate for the Treatment of Cancer,” Sunday, April 2, at 4 p.m. ET in Ballroom A-B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“Dr. Zon is a world-renowned physician-scientist whose exceptional body of work has revolutionized cell biology,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “His pioneering research established the zebrafish as a model organism for studying hematopoietic development and disease, including many types of cancer. This created the foundation for countless studies dedicated to understanding the complexities of cancer initiation and progression, and the AACR is proud to honor Dr. Zon’s extraordinary accomplishments with this prestigious award.”

An AACR member, Zon served as an associate editor of Cancer Research (2007-2009) and on the editorial board of Molecular Cancer Research (2002-2013).

Zon is a co-founder and past president of the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and a past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Additional awards recognizing Zon include the Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics from the National Cancer Institute (2016), the inaugural ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture (2016), the Donald Metcalf Lecture from the International Society for Experimental Hematology (2013), and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize from the American Society of Hematology (2010). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Zon graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and received his medical degree from what is now known as the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson University, in Philadelphia. He completed an internal medicine residency at what is now known as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston. 

Zon will be recognized at the opening ceremony of the AACR Annual Meeting, April 2, at 8:15 a.m. ET in Hall D-E of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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