The 22nd Annual Awards Dinner of the Cancer Research Institute was held on June 17, 2008, at The Rainbow Room in New York City. More than 180 guests attended, raising $756,000 for the Institute’s research programs. The Institute feted two outstanding honorees whose contributions to cancer research—either through philanthropy and leadership or through scientific achievement—have made a significant impact in the Institute’s efforts to advance immunology to conquer cancer.
The 2008 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology was presented to Michael J. Bevan, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor of immunology at the University of Washington, for his discovery of cross-presentation and positive selection of T cells that provides a scientific rationale for the development of much of the cancer vaccine field and our understanding of how the host cellular immune system detects tumor antigens and self-proteins.
The 2008 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research was presented to Carlos A. Ferrer, the founder and a managing member of Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC, for his success in raising CRI’s profile within the pharmaceutical and financial management industries and in ushering CRI through one of the most transformative and expansive periods in its history.
The evening also included keynote speaker Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., director of immunotherapy clinical trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who shared his personal story of how he as a young research scientist first became interested in tumor immunology. He credited Cancer Research Institute Scientific Advisory Council Director Lloyd J. Old, M.D., MSKCC investigator Alan Houghton, M.D., and the Cancer Research Institute with opening many career-defining opportunities for him in the field of tumor immunology. Cancer Research Institute co-chairman of the board Donald J. Gogel, president & CEO of Clayton Dubilier & Rice, also spoke on behalf of the Institute, highlighting its highly effective research programs, its efficient stewardship of donor funds and public trust, and its unique model of international collaboration and shared resources leveraging.
Co-chairs and presenters at the event were Peter J. Crowley, Donald J. Gogel, Philip D. Greenberg, William M. Lewis Jr., M.D., Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., Andrew M. Paul, and Wade F.B. Thompson.