The 2009 Pezcoller-ECCO Recognition for Contribution to Oncology awarded to Doctor Françoise Meunier

In 2009, the Pezcoller-ECCO Recognition for Contribution to Oncology will be presented to Doctor Françoise Meunier for her outstanding contribution as a scientific leader and mentor. The award ceremonies will be held in Rovereto, Italy, on Friday 11 September 2009. During the joint ECCO 15 – 34th ESMO Multidisciplinary Congress in Berlin, a plenary lecture will be delivered as part of the Presidential Session on Tuesday, 22 September 2009. The award consists of a prize of 30 000 Euros and a commemorative plaque.

Francoise Meunier, Director General of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, received her medical degree suma cum laude in 1974 from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and then earned Master’s Degrees in both Medical Oncology in 1976 and Internal Medicine in 1979 and a PhD, Agrégé de l’Enseignement Supérieur, in 1985. She completed a Fulbright Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 1977-1978. She is certified as a Pharmaceutical Medicine specialist by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the United Kingdom as well as in Belgium and has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom since 1994.

Dr. Meunier has led the coordination and administration of all EORTC activities since 1991. The EORTC is a unique pan-European academic clinical research organization operating as a non-profit association under Belgian law with the mission to develop, conduct, coordinate and stimulate high-quality translational and clinical research to improve the standards of patient cancer care by developing innovative drugs and more effective therapeutic strategies. The EORTC is a network of approximately 2 500 oncologists in over 300 universities and has a Headquarters staff of 160 employees representing 17 different nationalities.

Dr. Meunier has been charged with the mandate of promoting the EORTC as a major European organisation in the field of oncology, and as Director General has been responsible for the organisation of scientific activities, public relations and medium-term EORTC strategy as defined by the EORTC Board.

Before joining the EORTC in 1991, Dr. Meunier was Head of the Infectious Disease Department at the Institut Jules Bordet in Brussels, Belgium. Her personal area of research involved mainly Invasive Fungal Infections in Cancer Patients. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and is a member of numerous international oncology scientific societies. She has been a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine (Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique) since 2006 and was awarded the Belgian Laureate “Prix Femmes d’Europe 2004-2005”.

The Award Committee for the 2009 Pezcoller-ECCO Recognition for Contribution to Oncology was chaired by Alexander M.M. Eggermont (NL), President of ECCO, and included Gios Bernardi (IT), President of the Pezcoller Foundation, Franco Cavalli (CH), Foundation for Research and Cure of Lymphomas, Tessin, Raffaella Giavazzi (IT), “Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological Research, Bergamo, Jacques Pouyssegur (F), Institute of Signalling, Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, Nice, and Ulrik Ringborg (SE), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Ex-officio members included Michel Ballieu (BE), Chief Executive Officer of ECCO and Alberto Costa (IT), Director of ESO.

About the Pezcoller Foundation

The Pezcoller Foundation was established in 1980 through a generous donation by Professor Alessio Pezcoller, a dedicated Italian surgeon who during his career made important contributions to medicine. Through his generosity and foresight, Professor Pezcoller created a foundation enabling others to do likewise. The goal of the Pezcoller Foundation is to promote biomedical research in the field of cancer.
In the past, the Pezcoller Foundation awarded biannually for contributions to cancer and cancer-related biomedical science in collaboration with the European School of Oncology. This award was conferred to Franco Cavalli in 1994, Guido Venosta in 1996, and Henry Lynch in 1997.

The Pezcoller Foundation-ECCO Recognition for Contribution to Oncology builds upon this tradition. The Pezcoller Foundation-ECCO Recognition for Contribution to Oncology is awarded biannually to a single individual for her/his unique contribution and for the dedication of his/her professional life to the improvement of cancer treatment, care and research.

Previous recipients of this prestigious award were Professor Jean-Claude Horiot in 1999, Professor Umberto Veronesi in 2001, Professor Hans-Jörg Senn in 2003, Professor René Bernards in 2005, and Professor Luigi Chieco Bianchi in 2007.

Adapted from ECCO Website.

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