In This Section

AACR Timeline—At the Forefront of Cancer Science in the 21st Century: 2000-Present


  • Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) is established to meet the professional needs and advance the careers of minority scientists.
  • More than 5,000 abstracts are submitted to the Annual Meeting; attendance exceeds 12,000.
  • The AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer is formally launched.


  • AACR Journals Online first offers the full text of all AACR journals.
  • Affiliate Membership, for health professionals working in support of cancer and biomedical research, and Student Membership, for high school students and undergraduates, are introduced.
  • The Association launches its fifth journal, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD (below) is the founding editor.
  • Membership categories are modified to allow international scientists to join as Active Members.
Daniel D. Von Hoff
Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD
Michael Sporn
Michael B. Sporn, MD


  • The inaugural AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research is presented to Michael B. Sporn, MD (right). (In 2013, the award is renamed as the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research.)
Robert N. Eisenman
Robert N. Eisenman, PhD
  • The inaugural Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research is presented to Robert N. Eisenman, PhD. (Landon Prizes are changed to INNOVATOR awards in 2009.)
  • The first MICR Symposium is held: Is Race/Ethnicity a Meaningful Construct in Studies of Cancer Etiology and Treatment
  • The inaugural Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research is presented to Elwood V. Jensen, PhD, and V. Craig Jordan, PhD. (Landon Prizes are changed to INNOVATOR awards in 2009.)
Elwood Jensen
Elwood V. Jensen, PhD
V. Craig Jordan
V. Craig Jordan, PhD
  • The inaugural AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research is held in October in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Cell Growth & Differentiation is relaunched as Molecular Cancer Research. Michael B. Kastan, MD, is the founding editor.
Michael Kastan
Michael B. Kastan, MD


James Darnell
James E. Darnell, Jr., MD
  • Three days before the opening events in April, the AACR Annual Meeting is canceled because of the SARS outbreak in Toronto. The meeting is rescheduled for July in Washington, D.C.
  • The inaugural AACR Distinguished Lecture is delivered by James E. Darnell, Jr., MD. (In 2013, the lectureship is renamed the AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecture.)
  • AACR membership surpasses 20,000.


Emil Frei III
Emil Frei III, MD



Olufunmilayo Olopade
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD


Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
  • The inaugural AACR Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research is presented to AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc). (In 2008, the award is renamed the Margaret Foti Award.)
Webster Cavenee
Webster K. Cavenee, PhD
Samuel Danishefsky
Samuel J. Danishefsky, PhD


Scott Lippman
Scott Lippman, MD
Douglas Easton
Douglas Easton, PhD
Joan Massague
Joan Massagué, PhD


  • The AACR celebrates its 100th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, with an exhibit displaying the history of the meeting.
  • [View the display (PDF; 13 MB).]
  • AACR membership surpasses 30,000.


  • A video titled “It’s Our Time” reflects the accomplishments and possibilities of cancer research. The video receives four Telly awards; videos in subsequent years garner more awards.
  • The second Stand Up To Cancer telecast is held on September 10.
Charles Perou
Charles M. Perou, PhD


  • The Association launches its seventh journal, Cancer Discovery. Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, and Jose Baselga, MD, PhD, are the founding editors.
Lewis Cantley
Lewis C. Cantley, PhD
Jose Baselga
José Baselga, MD, PhD


  • The third Stand Up To Cancer telecast is held on September 7.


Glenn Dranoff
Glenn Dranoff, MD
James Allison
James P. Allison, MD


  • The AACR International Office – the organization’s first satellite office outside the United States opens in Shanghai, China. The International Office supports the launch of the inaugural New Horizons in Cancer Research Conference, held in Shanghai in October.
  • Cancer Research Catalyst, the AACR blog, is launched.
  • The inaugural Young Champion in Cancer Research Award is given to Elena Simon.
  • A second international satellite office is opened in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • The fourth Stand Up To Cancer telecast is held on September 5.


  • The AACR supports production of the PBS series CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES. More than 40 current and former AACR members—including 17 Fellows of the AACR Academy—are among the 60 eminent scientists interviewed.
June L. Biedler


  • On January 8, AACR President Jose Baselga leads a delegation of 15 AACR members to meet with Vice President Joe Biden’s senior staff to discuss the state of cancer research. Four days later, during his State of the Union Address, President Obama announced the launch of a National Cancer Moonshot Initiative led by Vice President Biden.
  • Vice President Biden addresses nearly 4,000 attendees during the AACR Annual Meeting 2016 to thank the cancer research community for devoting their lives to cancer research and to encourage them to share their ideas to more quickly accelerate progress against cancer.
  • AACR journals commemorate 100 years of scientific publishing and the 75th anniversary of Cancer Research with a special walk-through display and publication at the Annual Meeting.
  • AACR International launches the inaugural African Cancer Researchers Travel Awards to offset the travel expenses for five cancer scientists to attend the AACR Annual Meeting 2016.
  • The fifth Stand Up To Cancer telecast is held on September 9.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2016, read the AACR Annual Report.]


  • Thirteen months after its launch, AACR Project GENIE makes public its first data release. The dataset contains nearly 19,000 de-identified genomic records and the associated limited clinical data and covers 59 major cancer types.
  • Joe Biden returns to the AACR Annual Meeting to outline the Cancer Moonshot progress made to date and to thank the attendees for their efforts to accelerate that progress.
Waun Ki Hong Award Presentation: 2017
  • The AACR hosts its first-ever conferences on the African and South American continents. New Frontiers in Cancer Research was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in January, and the AACR International Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May.
  • The AACR is named the title partner for the AACR Philadelphia Marathon.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2017, read the AACR Annual Report.]


Judy Garber
Judy Garber, MD, MPH
  • At the Annual Meeting, the AACR and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) announced a new international alliance aimed toward accelerating the pace of progress against cancer.
  • The AACR Academy establishes a governance structure to formalize its advisory and advocacy roles within the organization. Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, is elected the first president of the Academy.
  • The AACR partners with the organizers of the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML)—held semiannually in Lugano, Switzerland, since 1981—to bring a version of this meeting to the United States. In June, the inaugural AACR International Meeting on “Advances in Malignant Lymphoma” was held in Boston.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2018, read the AACR Annual Report.]


  • For the first time, the AACR Annual Meeting is expanded to a sixth day to accomodate the comprehensive educational program.
  • AACR Project GENIE entered into a major research collaboration with a coalition of pharmaceutical companies that will accelerate the rate of clinical data collection and advance precision oncology to benefit cancer patients.
  • The AACR publishes the first paper for its ninth journal, Blood Cancer Discovery. Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, FAACR, and Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, FAACR, are the founding editors.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2019, read the AACR Annual Report.]


James Downing
James R. Downing, MD
  • The AACR Board of Directors created a COVID-19 and Cancer Task Force. Chaired by AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, FAACR, the task force was charged with recommending scientific and policy priorities for COVID-19 and cancer; evaluating COVID-related projects for potential AACR involvement; and developing new AACR initiatives to address the pandemic. The task force organized a virtual conference on COVID-19 and Cancer, July 20-22, which featured a keynote address from NIAID director Anthony Fauci, MD.
Cancer Disparities Progress Report Cover
  • The AACR releases its inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report. The report highlights areas of progress in addressing the challenge of cancer health disparities and emphasizes the need for continued research and increased collaboration among stakeholders in order to achieve the bold vision of health equity.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2020, read the AACR Annual Report.]


  • The second virtual Annual Meeting was held over two weeks, April 10-15 and May 17-21.
  • The AACR launches Cancer Research Communications, the association’s first open-access journal and the tenth journal in its scientific publishing portfolio. Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, FAACR (below left), and Lillian L. Siu, MD, (below right), are the founding editors.
Elaine Mardis
Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, FAACR
Lillian Siu
Lillian L. Siu, MD
  • AACR Project GENIE® announced two data releases, increasing the size of this international pancancer registry to nearly 121,000 sequenced tumors from more than 111,000 patients—including data that were included as part of a successful regulatory submission to the FDA that led to the approval of the first-ever KRAS inhibitor, sotorasib.
  • [For a summary of AACR programs and initiatives in 2021, read the AACR Annual Report.]