• Home
  • AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research

AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Recipients

This award honors an individual who has made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work.

15th Award Recipient
Joseph R. Bertino, MD, FAACR
American Cancer Society Professor
University Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School                                                            
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Dr. Bertino received his award during the opening ceremony of the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, Sunday, April 15, 2018, at the McCormick Place North/South Convention Center.

The American Association for Cancer Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was first established in 2004 to honor individuals who have made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a collective body of work. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.

The AACR honors Joseph R. Bertino, MD, FAACR for his pioneering work in translational science and outstanding influence in our understanding of cancer and the treatment of cancer patients.

Throughout Dr. Bertino’s illustrious career, his basic science discoveries in the fields of drug action and tumor cell resistance have translated into novel clinical interventions, while also provide critical groundwork for scientific exploration by new generations of cancer translational researchers. His current studies, which focus on developing new drugs to treat solid tumors as well as lymphoma, are also noteworthy.

Dr. Bertino’s lifelong dedication to improving the lives of patients suffering from hematologic and other cancers is truly admired and appreciated by the cancer research community.

Dr. Bertino attended Cornell University and received his medical degree from Downstate Medical Center. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Washington, School of Medicine under the guidance of Clem Finch and Frank Huennekens. Following his fellowship, he joined the Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. At Yale, he was promoted to full professor and served as chief of oncology and chemotherapy. He was the first director of the Yale Comprehensive Cancer from 1973-1975.

In 1987, he left Yale to develop the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with John Mendelsohn. In 2002, he was recruited by William Hait to The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) where he served as associate director and chief scientific officer. In 2008-2009, he served as the interim director of CINJ,

He is a translational researcher who seeks to build bridges between the laboratory and the clinic, and an inspirational teacher who has guided many of the current leaders in the field of cancer research. He is the founding editor-in-chief of Journal of Clinical Oncology. Together with Jerry Freundlich, (a lymphoma patient) and Jerry’s wife, he founded The Cure for Lymphoma Foundation which is now The Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Dr. Bertino is the recipient of several awards including the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor; the Karnofsky Award (the American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO)]; AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research; the Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Prize for exceptional contributions to improving the compassionate care of cancer patients (the Medical Knowledge Institute [MKI]); John Ultmann Award for contributions to Lymphoma Research, (International Congress on Hematologic Malignancies) Jeffrey A Gottllieb Award for Outstanding achievements in therapeutic cancer research (the University of Texas/MD Anderson) and the Distinguished investigator Award (American College of Clinical Pharmacology [ACCP].

Dr. Bertino is an inaugural Fellow of the AACR Academy.

2018 AACR Lifettime Award Presentation.jpg

Award Recipients:

  • 2017: Mina J. Bissell
  • 2016: Robert A. Weinberg
  • 2015: Mario R. Capecchi
  • 2014: Douglas Hanahan
  • 2013: Harold L. Moses
  • 2012: Beatrice Mintz
  • 2011: Susan Band Horwitz
  • 2010: Janet D. Rowley
  • 2009: Joseph F. Fraumeni Jr.
  • 2008: Harald zur Hausen
  • 2007: Donald Metcalf
  • 2006: Bernard Fisher
  • 2005: Alfred G. Knudson Jr.
  • 2004: Emil Frei III