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AACR CEO Receives Second Honorary Doctorate


University of Catania Bestows Honor Upon Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.)

PHILADELPHIA - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.) will receive a degree Honoris Causa (h.c.) in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Catania in Sicily on Friday, July 4, 2008. This honorary doctorate is Foti’s second and recognizes her distinguished contributions to advancing the field of cancer research worldwide.

“We celebrate Dr. Foti’s accomplishments as an advocate for all whose lives have been touched by cancer. Her commitment to the field of cancer research reminds us every day that research has important significance on the lives of people living with cancer,” said Antonino Recca, Ph.D., president of the University of Catania.

“I feel very privileged to receive this extraordinary honor from the University of Catania, one of the oldest universities in Europe that dates back to 1234. Knowing that Catania was the birthplace of my grandparents makes this honor particularly special for me,” Foti said. “This is an important time in the field of cancer research, with researchers on the brink of making monumental discoveries in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. To be a part of the AACR family and the international cancer community is very exciting and I want to thank all of the AACR presidents and our wonderful staff who have contributed so very much to the success of our work in the field.”

“The efforts of Dr. Foti and the AACR to accelerate the pace of discovery in basic and clinical cancer research have laid the foundation for improvements in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” said Ferdinando Nicoletti, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Translational Immunopharmacology Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania.

“Dr. Foti and the AACR have been instrumental in supporting the careers of cancer scientists and the important work they do,” said Clorinda Mazzarino, M.D., director of the School of Oncology, University of Catania.

“Dr. Foti’s work with the AACR has significantly advanced cancer research and prevention. As a leader in her field at the international level, her passionate dedication to study and her intuition in stimulating breakthroughs in cancer research among scientists at all cultural and institutional levels, has given a voice to the cancer problem,” said Franca Stivala, M.D., head of Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania and vice-president of the Italian League Against Cancer.

Foti will present her doctoral lecture titled, “The Global Conquest of Cancer in the New Era of Science and Medicine,” at a conferment ceremony in the University’s Palace Central. She will also receive an award from the Italian League Against Cancer, Section of Catania, commending Foti’s work in promoting cancer research and prevention.

According to Massimo Libra, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Biomedical Science of the University of Catania, Dr. Foti is “one of the most charismatic figures in the world in our field today. What makes her unique is that she is extremely well versed in a number of different facets of cancer research, ranging from basic cancer research to clinical research. She combines with this an innate capability to apply her technical knowledge and business acumen to sustain the resources necessary for research. Through her significant work, she is able to provide funding to further both research and professional meetings, giving life to the some of the most prestigious scientific advances for cancer treatment in the world today.”

Foti has dedicated her career to cancer research and the AACR. Progressing through several key editorial and management roles at the AACR, she was appointed to her current position of CEO in 1982 by the AACR’s board of directors. In addition, she serves as secretary-treasurer and CEO of the AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer and managing editor of the journal Cancer Research. During Foti’s tenure, AACR membership has grown from 3,000 to more than 28,000 cancer scientists residing in over 80 countries.

In addition to her publishing responsibilities for Cancer Research, the most highly cited cancer journal in the world, Foti has launched five additional high-quality AACR journals: Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research and Cancer Prevention Research, AACR’s most recent publication dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians and scientists.

Among her many professional activities, Foti serves as a board member and is a past president of the National Coalition for Cancer Research; member of the Melanoma International Foundation board of directors; member of the executive committee of Friends of Cancer Research; board member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; medical advisory board member of the Prevent Cancer Foundation; and member of the Council of the European Association for Cancer Research. She previously served as a board member of the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen) and as board member and president of the Council of Science Editors and the Society for Scholarly Publishing. She has served in various capacities for the International Federation of Science Editors, the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the European Life Science Editors Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, among other organizations. Foti has also been a consultant to several nonprofit organizations and lectures widely at academic institutions in the United States and abroad.

Foti has received many national and international awards for her contributions to cancer research including: the Distinguished Service Award from the George Washington University Medical Center’s GW Cancer Institute; the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Cancer Institutes for her contributions to the progress of cancer research and commitment to the next generation of cancer scientists; the AACR Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research; the Ville de Paris Award; the Cina del Duca Award for raising public awareness of cancer globally; the Community Caring Award from the William S. Graham Foundation for Melanoma Research; and the Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for her work in advancing clinical cancer research. For her work, she has also been awarded honorary memberships in the Japanese Cancer Association and the European Association for Cancer Research, as well an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Rome La Sapienza and now the University of Catania in Sicily.


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