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In 2011, the CCRA initiated a biennial recognition program consisting of three awards to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of individuals who have had a remarkable impact on cancer research and the cancer research community. In 2017, the CCRA announced a new award recognizing exceptional leadership in patient involvement in cancer research. CCRA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 awards.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Eisenhauer (Queen's University) received the Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research award for her work as a clinician-researcher and her national leadership roles—President of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, Expert Lead, Research at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Co-chair of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance—demonstrating her long-standing commitment to enhancing the coordination and quality of cancer research in Canada in order to improve the lives of cancer patients.

Dr. John C. Bell (University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital) received the Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research award for his pioneering work and ground-breaking scientific discoveries, which have propelled the entire field of oncolytic virus therapy forward, and his commitment to enabling translational research through his roles as founder of the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, Scientific Director of BioCanRx, and Director of the Biotherapeutics Program for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Dr. Marco A. Marra (The University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Agency) received the Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research award for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of the role of genetic alterations in promoting cancer progression, and in translating these insights for the benefit of patients. His research has used massively parallel sequencing technologies and informatics tools to characterize tumours from patients and this work has led to the discovery of new cancer associated mutations, candidate biomarkers, and new therapeutic targets.

Dr. Eduardo L.F. Franco, OC (McGill University) received the Distinguished Service to Cancer Research award his significant role in cancer prevention by generating critical scientific evidence for the HPV vaccine and actively promoting the adoption of HPV vaccination across Canada, his research and advocacy for cost-effective cervical cancer prevention approaches in low- and middle-income countries, and his proponency of appropriate peer-review and editorial oversight to ensure the publication of quality cancer research.

Dr. Michael A.S. Jewett (University of Toronto and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre) received the Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer award for his long-standing commitment to and advocacy for greater patient involvement in clinical research prioritization, research proposals, funding decisions, research design, and patient-relevant outcome measures, and his championing of patient-led charities as a mechanism to elevate the role of the patient voice in cancer care and research.

Ms. Judy Needham (Canadian Cancer Trials Group and Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network) received the Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer award for her passionate and long-standing commitment to improving outcomes for cancer patients through the development of patient treatment navigation tools and direct engagement of patients in the development of research clinical trial questions, protocols, and patient materials to ensure that the patient perspective is integrated through the research lifecycle.

Photographs: Jon Benjamin Photography

The awards were presented at the 2017 Canadian Cancer Research Conference, which was held from November 5 to 7, 2017 in Vancouver. For the press release on the awards, click here.

For information about the 2015 award recipients, click here; 2013 award recipients, click here; 2011 award recipients, click here.