PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has awarded the 15th AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship to Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD. The award will be presented during the AACR Annual Meeting 2019, to be held March 29-April 3 in Atlanta.
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 had, and continues to have, the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research. The recipient of this award is selected annually by the AACR President.
Bluestone is being recognized for his scientific contributions to the fields of molecular biology and immunology, specifically his work involving the characterization of CD28 and CTLA-4 function, and subsequent studies demonstrating the role of T cells in modulating autoimmunity and organ transplant rejection. Collectively, his research accomplishments have revolutionized the understanding of T-cell biology and have been essential to the development of countless studies dedicated to understanding the role of the immune system in cancer initiation and progression. He will deliver his lecture on Sunday, March 31, at 4 p.m. in the Murphy Ballroom at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Bluestone is president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is also director of the Hormone Research Institute in the Diabetes Center at UCSF.
“Dr. Bluestone is a world-renowned researcher whose novel work on immunity has led to significant advances in the treatment of cancer and other diseases,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “His work has helped us better understand autoimmunity, T-cell function, and immune system checkpoints. The AACR is thrilled to honor Dr. Bluestone and his groundbreaking work with this well-deserved lectureship.”
While Bluestone is well-known for his role in the discovery of CTLA-4, his research has covered many facets of immunity. Over the past few years, his work has focused on regulatory T cells (Tregs), a subset of T cells capable of preventing the immune system from attacking normal cells and tissues. Most recently, he has used preclinical models to facilitate the development of biological treatments and cell-based therapies for patients with autoimmune disease. Moreover, he continues to initiate new projects to determine Treg stability control mechanisms, with the goal of developing therapeutics aimed at targeting Tregs in autoimmunity and cancer.
Bluestone has received many other awards throughout his career, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence (2017), the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Mentoring Award (2015), the JDRF Mary Tyler Moore & Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award (2005), the AST/Roche Distinguished Scientist Award (2004), the JDRF Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Science Award (2004), and the Weill Cornell Medical School Distinguished Alumni Award (1998). He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (2013) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). In 2016, Bluestone was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and patient advocates that helped to guide the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
Prior to joining UCSF and the Parker Institute, Bluestone was director of the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago. He also spent time as a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He received his doctoral degree from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Science.