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Dr. Cornelis J.M. Melief Honored With 2019 AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will recognize Cornelis J.M. Melief, MD, PhD, with the seventh AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology during the AACR Annual Meeting 2019, held March 29-April 3 in Atlanta.

Melief is an emeritus professor at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, as well as chief scientific officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals.

He is being recognized for his discovery of mechanisms of immune recognition of cancer antigens and activation of antitumor responses, and for his role in the development of innovative immunotherapies, including a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer. He currently focuses on developing new immunotherapies and improving their effectiveness through combination therapies.

“Dr. Melief has brought tremendous insight to basic immunology, enhancing our understanding of how the immune system could be used to fight cancer and leading to the development of lifesaving treatments,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “He is also renowned for his ability to translate his scientific discoveries into clinical practice. Dr. Melief is considered a luminary in the field of cancer immunology, and we are thrilled to honor his brilliant career with this award.”

Melief has been a member of numerous scientific organizations throughout Europe and the United States. As a member of the AACR, he served as a member of the Immunology Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011, and as a member of the editorial board of the AACR journal Cancer Research.

Melief has been recognized with many scientific honors, including the SOFI Prize Leiden in 1986, the AkzoNobel Prize in 1995, the European Federation of Immunological Societies Lecture Award in 2007, the Ceppellini Lecture from the European Society of Immunogenetics in 2009, the William B. Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute in 2009, and the Queen Wilhelmina Research Prize from the Dutch Cancer Society in 2010.

Melief earned his doctorate in 1967 and his medical degree in 1970, both from the University of Amsterdam. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service (CLB) and New England Medical Center Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Center. He went on to serve as a scientific staff member of the CLB Amsterdam, leading a newly formed Department of Experimental Tumor Immunology. He then became head of the Division of Immunology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, then went on to lead the Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion at Leiden University Medical Center. Through the course of his career, he has authored more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and is credited with more than 30 patents or patent applications.

Melief will deliver a lecture titled “Adventures in Cancer Immunology” on Tuesday, April 2, at the Georgia World Congress Center.