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ACS announces 2024 Medal of Honor recipient

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, receives ACS’ highest honor.​

What better way to kick off the new year than by celebrating 2024 Medal of Honor recipient, Dr. Pasi A. Jänne, who is based at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. The Medal of Honor, ACS’ most prestigious honor, is awarded to individuals or foundations who have made outstanding contributions in the categories of basic research, cancer control, clinical research, and philanthropy. 

In his role as professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dr. Jänne’s outstanding achievements in translational and clinical research have fundamentally altered the treatment of lung cancer. He was one of the co-discoverers of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and has led the development of therapeutic strategies for patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancer. 

In addition to his steadfast commitment to developing more precise and durable therapies for cancer patients, his visionary thinking and collaborative mindset, Dr. Jänne is also being recognized for his dedication to mentoring and his strong leadership in oncology. 

Dr. Jänne received his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He completed postgraduate training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in medical oncology at Dana-Farber in 2001. He is the scientific director of the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science. 

The Medal of Honor, which was originally called the American Cancer Society Award, was first presented in 1949. The ACS Board of Directors and the scientific community nominate the candidates. This year’s ceremony was held Jan. 6 in Washington, DC. 

The last ACS Medal of Honor, awarded in 2020, was given to Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, for Basic Research; Leslie Bernstein, PhD. MS, for Cancer Control, and Ching-Hon Pui, MD for Clinical Research. Previous well-known recipients include George N. Papanicolau, MD, inventor of the Pap Test; Robert C. Gallo, MD, recognized for his achievements in pioneering the field of human retrovirology; and Judah Folkman, MD, a leading researcher in the field of antiangiogenesis. 

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