MSK Awards & Appointments

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announces the following awards and appointments:


Craig Thompson Recognized in City & State’s Life Sciences Power 50

Craig B. Thompson

Craig Thompson, MD, President and CEO, was named on the inaugural City & State Life Sciences Power 50 list. The list recognizes the most notable individuals who are making strides in the life sciences in New York, including leaders from academia, biotechnology, finance, policymaking and more.

Dr. Thompson was ranked third on the list and was recognized as a key individual behind the healthcare sector’s remarkable growth in New York.


Larry Norton Named Member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Cancer Evolution Working Group Steering Committee

Larry Norton

Larry Norton, MD, Senior Vice President, Office of the President; Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, has been named a member of the AACR Cancer Evolution Working Group Steering Committee.

The AACR established a new scientific working group, the AACR Cancer Evolution Working Group, which will be dedicated to supporting cancer evolution research. Its mission is to advance cancer diagnostic, therapeutic, and prevention strategies by fostering a fundamental understanding of cancer evolution amongst its members and the broader cancer research community.


Nadeem Abu-Rustum Awarded International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) Excellence in Teaching Award

Nadeem Abu-Rustum

Nadeem Abu-Rustum, MD, FACOG, FACS, Chief, Gynecology Service, was awarded the 2021 International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) Excellence in Teaching Award. The IGCS recognizes individuals committed to the importance of teaching as an integral part of women’s cancer care and the lasting impact of educators to shape and inspire future generations of clinicians and researchers.

Dr. Abu-Rustum was honored for his work and accomplishments that have set a standard of excellence in training the next generation. He is recognized as a pioneer in surgery to treat cervical cancer and a leader in sentinel lymph node mapping, a novel approach adopted by many oncology practices nationally and internationally, in cervical and uterine cancer.


Jedd Wolchok Receives Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of Excellence for Medicine

Jedd Wolchok

Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO, Chief, Immuno-Oncology Service, was presented with the 2021 Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of Excellence for Medicine at the Hope Funds Awards and Dinner Gala. The Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of basic research, drug development, medicine, patient support and philanthropy.


Alison M. Schram Receives NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award

Alison M. Schram

Alison M. Schram, MD, Medical Oncologist, Early Drug Development Service, was a recipient of the 2021 NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award.

The award recognizes and supports clinical investigators at NCI-Designated cancer centers who participate extensively and collaboratively in NCI-funded clinical trials and whose leadership, participation, and activities promote a culture of successful clinical research. Established in 2009, the awards are intended to help retain investigators in academic clinical research careers.


Piro Lito Named a Finalist for the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) 4th Annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

Piro Lito

Piro Lito, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Thoracic Oncology Service, was selected as a finalist for the 4th Annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

The finalists were recognized for their outstanding research contributions that have the potential to or have led to innovations in patient care. The winner will be announced and awarded the Trailblazer Prize at the 2021 FNIH Awards Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

Dr. Lito was selected by a jury of distinguished biomedical research leaders for catalyzing breakthroughs in the understanding of oncoprotein signaling and the development of novel therapeutic approaches for cancers driven by the mutant KRAS protein. His fundamental research directly translates to patients and he served as one of the principal investigators of the first-­in-­human clinical trial testing the effect of KRAS G12C inhibitors, work that helped establish the first FDA-approved KRAS-directed therapy for lung cancer patients.


Mario Lacouture Awarded American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Everett C. Fox, MD, Memorial Lectureship

Mario Lacouture

Mario Lacouture, MD, Director, Oncodermatology Program, was the recipient of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Everett C. Fox, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship. As part of this recognition, Dr. Lacouture presented a lecture about the evolution of Oncodermatology and its impact on how cancer patients are cared for through scientific and clinical advances at AAD’s Summer Meeting Plenary.


Karlo Perica Receives Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Forward Fund-Bristol Myers Squibb Postdoctoral Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Fellowship

Karlo Perica

Karlo Perica, MD, PhD, Medical Oncology Fellow in The Michel Sadelain Lab, was presented with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Forward Fund-Bristol Myers Squibb Postdoctoral Cancer Immunotherapy Translational Fellowship. SITC Fellowship supports the next generation of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology experts through dedicated funding of novel research.


Jonathan Kentley Awarded Melanoma Research Alliance Dermatology Fellowship

Jonathan Kentley

Jonathan Kentley, MBBS, Research Associate, Dermatology Service, has been named a Melanoma Research Alliance Dermatology Fellowship Awardee. The grant is provided to support an independent research or demonstration project focused on advancing melanoma prevention or detection, and includes mentorship, networking opportunities, and other career-development support. Mr. Kentley will focus his research on the diagnosis of melanoma using machine learning and confocal microscopy.


Several MSK Researchers Receive Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship

Simon Grassmann, MD, Xiao Huang, PhD, and Giulia Zago, PhD, received the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021. CRI grants and fellowships span the continuum of discovery, from postdoctoral research to clinical trials, technology innovation, data sharing, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Dr. Grassmann’s project focuses on deciphering differentiation of intratumoral innate lymphocytes using single-cell fate mapping. Dr. Huang aims to provide a deeper understanding of pTreg biology through the development of novel genetic tools to potentially harness Tregs. Dr. Zago’s research focuses on SLC12A2 chloride transporter a potential target to inflame the tumor microenvironment.


Jun Mao Receives Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Grant

Jun Mao

Jun Mao, MD, MSCE, Chief, Integrative Medicine Service, was awarded a 2021 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Grant for research on music therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy for cancer-related anxiety.

The grant will support a clinical trial to compare the short- and long-term effectiveness of music therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy delivered via videoconferencing to address anxiety and related symptoms in cancer survivors. The research team are also trying to identify how individual characteristics (for example: sex, race/ethnicity, educational background) may affect the treatment results.


Matthew Hellmann Receives Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Continuation Grant

Matthew Hellmann

Matthew Hellmann, MD, Medical Oncologist, Thoracic Oncology Service, has been named a 2021 recipient of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Continuation Grant. Under the mentorship of Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, Chief, Thoracic Oncology Service, and Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO, Chief, Immuno-Oncology Service, Dr. Hellmann will focus on gaining a deeper understanding of how responses to immunotherapies are initiated, how they remain durable, and what features characterize resistance when it occurs. He aims to use this information to build better immunotherapy strategies for patients with lung cancer.


David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK Honored with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Healthcare Design Award

David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2021 Healthcare Design Award. The Healthcare Design Awards showcases the best of healthcare building design, healthcare planning and healthcare design-oriented research.