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AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award Recipients

This award honors the recipient and provides incentive to investigators relatively early in their careers (not more than 50 years of age) who are engaged in the practice of medicine, for research that has made, or promises to soon make, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer.

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD40th Annual Award Recipient
Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
University of California Los Angeles Medical Center
Los Angeles, California

Dr. Ribas delivered his award lecture titled "How Cancer Resists PD-1 Blockade" at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The award lecture was held Monday, April 18, 2016, in the Morial Convention Center.

The American Association for Cancer Research and the Rosenthal Family Foundation originally established this award in 1977 to recognize research that has made notable contributions to improving clinically-based cancer care. In an effort to honor and provide incentive to early investigators, the foundation has restricted award recipients to the age of 50 years at the time the award is presented.

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, is honored for his many important contributions to cancer research, specifically in the field of melanoma. His research has led to important therapeutic developments in both BRAF inhibition and immunotherapy for malignant melanoma. He is also credited for leading the development of pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the first anti-PD-1 drug approved by the FDA for use in cancer. The impact that Dr. Ribas’ studies have made on the treatment of malignant melanoma, as well as advancing our understanding of immuno-oncology, is truly remarkable.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Ribas also conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapies, anti-CTLA4 antibodies, anti-PD-1 antibodies, BRAF and MEK inhibitors and nanoparticle-siRNA. His NIH, State of California and private foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options and studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients.

Dr. Ribas is professor of medicine, professor of surgery, and professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG. Trained at the University of Barcelona, with postdoctoral research and clinical fellowships at UCLA, he is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and is the recipient of a NCI Outstanding Investigator Award.

Award Recipients

  • 2016: Antoni Ribas
  • 2015: William C. Hahn
  • 2014: Jedd D. Wolchok
  • 2013: Fadlo R. Khuri
  • 2012: Maura L. Gillison
  • 2011: Jean-Pierre J. Issa
  • 2010: Pasi A. Jänne
  • 2009: Todd R. Golub 
  • 2008: José Baselga
  • 2007: Daniel A. Haber 
  • 2006: William G. Kaelin Jr.
  • 2005: Charles L. Sawyers
  • 2004: David Sidransky
  • 2003: Carlos L. Arteaga
  • 2002: Raymond N. DuBois Jr.
  • 2001: Brian J. Druker
  • 2000: Edison T. Liu
  • 1999: Dennis J. Slamon
  • 1998: Lee M. Nadler
  • 1997: Daniel D. Von Hoff
  • 1996: James O. Armitage  
  • 1995: Ellen S. Vitetta  
  • 1994: Marc E. Lippman  
  • 1993: Waun Ki Hong  
  • 1992: Michael M. Gottesman  
  • 1991: Owen N. Witte  
  • 1990: Carlo M. Croce  
  • 1989: Raymond L. White  
  • 1988: Frederick P. Li  
  • 1987: Brian E. Henderson  
  • 1986: Vincent T. DeVita Jr.  
  • 1985: Jeffrey Schlom  
  • 1984: John D. Minna  
  • 1983: Robert C. Gallo  
  • 1982: Gianni Bonadonna  
  • 1981: Lawrence H. Einhorn  
  • 1980: Samuel Hellman  
  • 1979: Joseph V. Simone  
  • 1978: Joseph R. Bertino  
  • 1977: Paul P. Carbone