NEW ORLEANS —Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden today addressed over 4,000 attendees during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016 to thank members of the cancer research community for devoting their lives to cancer research, and to encourage them to share their ideas to more rapidly accelerate progress against cancer.
Vice President Biden conveyed, "There is more brain power in this room than exists in many countries. And we need you." He added, "You're the very best we have."
Biden talked about the importance of removing political barriers, fostering collaborations and data-sharing, and re-aligning incentives in cancer research to better serve patients.
View the webcast
of Dr. Jill Biden's and Vice President Biden's full remarks.
"On behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research, I would like to thank Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden for delivering such inspirational remarks to our attendees at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 this afternoon," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "We are at a watershed moment in cancer research, and their remarks serve to motivate us to work even harder to hasten the pace of progress against cancer. We are in a new era of transformational breakthroughs in cancer research, and we look forward to continuing to work with Vice President Biden and his staff as well as to collaborating with all stakeholders to help chart a course to end cancer.”
Biden selected the AACR Annual Meeting as a platform for his remarks, which drew a record number of 19,500 cancer community stakeholders from research, health care, academia, industry, government, and advocacy, all dedicated to propelling cancer research forward.
AACR Past President José Baselga, MD, PhD, physician-in-chief and chief medical officer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, thanked President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden for launching the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative on behalf of the AACR's 36,000 members comprised of laboratory researchers, physicians and scientists, other medical professionals, and patient advocates nationally and internationally.
Sophia Lunt, PhD, assistant professor, Michigan State University, introduced Dr. Jill Biden. Lunt is a recipient of the AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research, a funding initiative to stimulate highly innovative research conducted by young investigators.
Dr. Jill Biden reinforced their personal commitment by saying, "Joe and I know, this is personal for us…but it's also bigger than us. It affects millions of people around the world every day."
Hosting Biden at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 builds upon the AACR's thought leadership in this national effort to cure cancer. Prior to the announcement of the vice president's cancer moonshot initiative, 15 distinguished AACR leaders and members representing 10 medical institutions and nine states met with Biden's staff to discuss areas of major promise in cancer research including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and potential collaboration around big data, citing AACR's Project GENIE as an example. Shortly thereafter, Biden invited the AACR's president and two past presidents to offer their perspectives and guidance at a special session, "Cancer Moonshot: A Call to Action," at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Since then, Biden has continued to meet with AACR members as he tours cancer centers throughout the U.S.