Distinguished Scientist Award

Recognizing Scientific Excellence

The AACI Distinguished Scientist Award was created in 2002 to recognize a major contributor to the field of cancer research. 

Selected by the AACI Board of Directors, the awardee should be widely known in the cancer community through their research accomplishments. 

Past AACI Distinguished Scientist honorees include Drs. Patricia LoRusso; Elizabeth M. Jaffee; Judy E. Garber; William G. Kaelin, Jr.; Douglas R. Lowy; Charles Perou; Carl June; James Allison; and Lewis Cantley.

2023 Recipient Spotlight

Patricia LoRusso, DO
Patricia LoRusso, DO

Patricia LoRusso, DO, is professor of medicine, associate center director for experimental therapeutics, and leader of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Division at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital.

An internationally recognized expert in drug development and early-phase clinical investigation of novel therapies, Dr. LoRusso has contributed to crucial therapeutic breakthroughs for patients with cancer. She was integrally involved in the early development of more than two dozen anti-cancer agents that are now FDA approved and has pioneered trial designs that have led to more efficient clinical drug development strategies and enhanced accessibility for underrepresented populations.

Dr. LoRusso is currently president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and chair of the New Agents Committee for Cancer Research UK; has served as chair and member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-CTEP Investigational Drug Steering Committee; and, by NCI invitation, serves as the current co-director of the Board of Scientific Council (BSC) (Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology).

She has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles in highly respected journals of science and medicine, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, Science Reports, Lancet Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology

  • Only members of the AACI Board of Directors are eligible to submit nominations

  • Eligible nominees will be considered based on satisfactory completion of the nomination form, which should include a detailed description of how the nominee has made an enduring impact on the progress of cancer research or patient care

The AACI Distinguished Scientist Award will be presented in October during the 2024 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Chicago. The awardee will be invited to deliver a keynote presentation to meeting attendees. 

In the event that there is no nomination or no nominee meets the award criteria, no award will be made for that cycle. 

January 2024
Call for nominations announced to AACI Board of Directors

March 2024
Board of Directors to review and vote on award nominations

May 2024
Award recipient notified  

September 2024
Award recipient announced
October 2024
Award presented during the 2024 AACI/CCAF Meeting in Chicago

Please note: all dates are subject to change.