OncLive® and The Ruesch Center Announce the Honorees of The Luminary Awards in GI Cancers

OncLive, the leading digital provider of resources and information to oncology professionals, in conjunction with The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers, will honor five outstanding individuals for their commitment to improving the lives of patients affected by gastrointestinal cancer. The Luminary Awards in GI Cancers reception will be held Thursday, November 29, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

The Luminary Awards serves to acknowledge the lifetime contributions made by truly special, dedicated, visionary individuals. Our current successes in GI cancer would not be possible without the work of these remarkable people. The Ruesch Center goal of curing all GI cancers is inspired by their efforts and contributions, said John Marshall, MD, director of The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers.

We are honored to recognize these five remarkable individuals for their continuous support of the gastrointestinal cancer community, said Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of MJH Associates Inc., parent company of OncLive. We look forward to dedicating a night to these honorees who make a difference every day.

The Luminary Awards in GI Cancers winners are:

  • John S. Macdonald, M.D.; Criterium Inc. Macdonald is the senior advisor for Criterium Inc. Previously, he served as the medical director and chief of gastrointestinal oncology at St. Vincents Comprehensive Center in New York City, chief of medical oncology at St. Vincents Hospital and Medical Center, and a professor of medicine at New York Medical College from 1998-2007. Macdonald has received numerous awards and distinctions, including being named among Good Housekeepings Best 300 Doctors in America and, over a seven-year period, New York magazines Best Doctors in New York. He has written more than 400 articles, abstracts and book chapters.
  • Michael Sapienza; Colorectal Cancer Alliance After losing his mother to colon cancer in May 2009, Sapienza turned his grief into action, inspiring and challenging the colorectal cancer community and his family, friends and professional associates to follow his lead and dedicate themselves to the Colon Cancer Alliance mission. After serving as president and founder of the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation from 2010-2015, he led the effort to merge the alliance and the foundation, creating the nations largest nonprofit specific to colon cancer specific. Currently, he is the CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and a member of The Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers advisory board.
  • Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., FACP, FASCO, FSCT; American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) A highly respected leader in the field of oncology, Schilsky is the senior vice president and chief medical officer of ASCO, as well as a past president. Previously, he served as the chief of hematology and oncology in the department of medicine and deputy director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. He specializes in new drug development and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. His impressive experience and proven track record in both clinical medicine and clinical research reflect his deep passion for cancer medicine. Schilsky has spent most of his career at the University of Chicago, where he joined the faculty in 1984, rising to the rank of professor of medicine and serving in many roles, including associate dean for clinical research in the biological sciences division and director of the cancer center. Earlier in his career, he worked in the clinical pharmacology branch of the division of cancer treatment at the National Cancer Institute and was an assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, division of hematology and oncology, at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. He was also the head of the hematology/medical oncology unit at Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital in Columbia. Schilsky is also past chair of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) and a former member and chair of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and of the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Paul H. Sugarbaker, M.D., FACS, FRCS; Medstar Washington Hospital Center Sugarbaker is the chief of the peritoneal surface malignancy program and the director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Malignancies at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. In 1989, he become the medical director of the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Currently, his clinical and investigative work is concentrated on the treatment of the peritoneal surface dissemination of cancer, known as peritoneal carcinomatosis. He has developed, perfected and popularized the combined treatments of cancer surgery with warm chemotherapy, infused into the open abdomen toward the end of surgical intervention. He has written over 900 articles and book chapters, edited seven books, produced 24 videos and received four honorary professorships.
  • Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., FACP; Translational Genomics Research Institute, HonorHealth, US Oncology and Mayo Clinic Von Hoff is the physician-in-chief and distinguished professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, chief scientific officer at HonorHealth and US Oncology, and a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic. Von Hoff and colleagues discoveries have led to tremendous improvements in survival for patients with pancreatic cancer. Currently, he and his colleagues are concentrating on the development of molecularly targeted therapies for patients with pancreatic and other advanced cancers. Von Hoff has written more than 648 papers, 138 book chapters and over 1085 abstracts. He received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from ASCO for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care.

Robert Goldsmith, vice president of OncLive states, this awards ceremony not only recognizes the five outstanding individuals, it also honors all of the unacknowledged heroes in the GI cancers community. Each of these winners helps propel the field of GI cancer through their dedicated work and passion for improving the lives of those impacted by gastrointestinal cancer.


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The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers is part of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and focuses on personalized patient care and fighting against gastrointestinal cancers. The Ruesch Center provides the highest standard of care and individualized cures through clinical trials and research, education and advocacy, and regional and global alliances.

For more information about the reception, please visit https://www.onclive.com/luminary-awards.

About OncLive

A digital platform of resources for practicing oncologists, OncLive offers oncology professionals information they can use to help provide the best patient care. OncLive.com is the official website for the MJH Associates Inc. Oncology Specialty Group, which publishes OncologyLive, Oncology Nursing News and more. MJH Associates Inc. is a full-service health care communications company offering education, research and medical media, including curetoday.com and CURE magazine, the largest U.S. consumer publication focused entirely on cancer. Combining science and humanity to make cancer understandable, CURE reaches patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups.