Advocacy Award Benefactors

Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award 

Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award

Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion

Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award

Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy


For more information about the 2017 Advocacy Awards honorees, click here

For a list of past awardees, click here

Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award

The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award recognizes those who have provided inspiration and determination in building an outstanding home for research. Eligible candidates for the award are distinguished medical, health and scientific research administrators, scientists and other leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to and advocacy for research by building an outstanding scientific research institution. Individuals who have substantially revitalized an existing institution are also eligible. The award is generously supported by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation.

About Geoffrey Beene Foundation, G. Thompson Hutton, Esq. and Mara Hutton

G. Thompson Hutton, Esq., a practicing New York attorney for more than 35 years, became president and CEO of Geoffrey Beene LLC in 2004. Hutton established the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® philanthropic initiative, a unique business philanthropic model in which 100 percent of net profits from Geoffrey Beene LLC fund revolutionary new cancer research at the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

He is the founder and CEO of The Geoffrey Beene Foundation (2006); he orchestrated the creation of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with Harold Varmus, M.D. (2006), for which Geoffrey Beene is the sole funding source, now approximately $155 million in value. The Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center is primarily engaged in initial stage, revolutionary research into all cancers.

Hutton also created the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative to bring greater public awareness for the need to fund research for Alzheimer’s and became a lead cosponsor of the HBO pioneering documentary series, “The Alzheimer’s Project.” Under his leadership, the Geoffrey Beene Foundation created and funded multiple “Rock Stars of Science™” campaigns in GQ and other major publications, pairing leading scientists with well-known rock stars to advocate for increased research funding and engage the next generation in science. For this, Hutton received Research!America’s 2010 Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion, recognizing his leadership behind the Foundation’s national public service campaign. Hutton has also directed approximately $50 million in funding to support many other philanthropic causes, including research for other medical issues (like heart disease); educational scholarships; protection of women and children; veterans causes; programs for the elderly and the homeless; and the protection of animals.

Mara Hutton is the Executive Vice President (2007) of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and oversees all programs and reviews requests for new support as well as generates new programs for the Foundation. She also produced the most recent Geoffrey Beene’s Rock Stars of Science™ campaign and is the presenter of Geoffrey Beene awards.  Mara does public speaking on behalf of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation.

Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award

The Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to increasing the level of advocacy for medical or health research at the local, state or national level. The award is generously supported by the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation.

About Gordon and Llura Gund

Gordon and Llura Gund have supported medical and health research for more than 40 years. They approach research as an investment in a healthier future for us all and encourage others to do likewise.

In March 2006, Mr. Gund was honored with Research!America’s award for volunteer leadership for his role in advancing research for retinal degenerative diseases. He serves as chair of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which he and Mrs. Gund cofounded with other affected families. The foundation is dedicated to driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.

Mr. Gund is chairman and chief executive officer of Gund Investment Corporation. He was also the principal owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. Mr. Gund was diagnosed as a young adult with retinitis pigmentosa, which has left him blind since 1970. As a result, he has never been able to see a game played by
any of the teams that he has owned. Despite blindness, Gordon is an accomplished sculptor and one of his pieces is displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion

The Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion is presented annually to a news media representative or citizen who has worked effectively to deliver medical or health research advocacy messages to the public. The award is generously supported by the Rosenfeld Heart Foundation.

About Isadore Rosenfeld

Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., Rossi Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College, is widely recognized as one of the country’s preeminent physicians and a renowned advocate for medical and health research. He has served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, served for four years on the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council of the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, and in 1999 was named a “Citizen of the World” by the Hospitality Committee of the United Nations Delegates. In 2005, he received a presidential appointment to the Advisory Council for the White House Conference on Aging.

Rosenfeld hosted the weekly “Sunday Housecall” on FOX News. His most recent book, Doctor of the Heart: My Life in Medicine, recounts his extraordinary career as a cardiologist and “America’s Doctor” during a time of great progress in medicine. He is the author of numerous best-selling books including Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld’s 2005 Breakthrough Health: Up-to-the- Minute Medical News You Need to Know; Symptoms; Power to the Patient: The Treatments to Insist on When You’re Sick; and Live Now, Age Later: Proven Ways to Turn Back the Clock. He was health editor of PARADE magazine for 10 years and co-authored a medical technology textbook, as well as 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

He is also a Weill Cornell Medical College overseer, formerly a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of California-Davis Medical School, New York Medical Society past president and a Research!America emeritus director. He was elected as chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University (American Program).

Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award

The Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award honors a public or private organization that is a strong advocate for medical or health research at the national, state or local level. The award is generously supported by the Rogers Family Foundation.

About The Honorable Paul G. Rogers

The Honorable Paul G. Rogers (1921-2008) was a partner in Hogan Lovells US LLP (at the time, Hogan & Hartson) and Research!America’s chair emeritus. A renowned advocate for health research, Rogers was a highly decorated U.S. congressman from Florida (1955-1979) who was widely known as “Mr. Health.” He served as chair of the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment from 1971-1979 before joining Hogan & Hartson, where he built the firm’s health practice to national prominence. As a partner, he represented the spectrum of health and environmental clients, including providers, manufacturers, suppliers, universities and associations.

While in Congress, he sponsored or played a major role in enacting ground-breaking health and environmental legislation, benefiting the lives of Americans young and old. His subcommittee exercised oversight of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In June 2001, the main plaza at NIH was dedicated in Rogers’ name by an act of Congress in 2000.

He was a member of the Institute of Medicine, spoke widely on health policy issues and served on many national committees. He inspired all who knew him with his determination to make better health a reality for all. For his dedication and many accomplishments, he received numerous awards, including Research!America’s 2005 Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy. As he so often said, “Without research, there is no hope.”

Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy

The Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy recognizes exemplary leaders, particularly those in public office, who have shown a long-standing commitment to advancing health research as a national priority and who galvanize others in support of science policy and funding. The award is generously supported by the Whitehead Charitable Foundation and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. 

About Edwin C. Whitehead

Research!America’s pinnacle award carries the name of Edwin C. “Jack” Whitehead (1919-1992), who was our founding chair and one of our most emphatic supporters. His distinguished career in medicine, philanthropy and industry spanned nearly six decades. He and his father started an instrumentation company that became Technicon, creating devices that improved lab testing, made blood transfusions more efficient and freed a generation of polio victims from iron lungs.

Whitehead applied his commitment to philanthropy and his drive to find new solutions in medicine, to furthering medical research by founding the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in 1982 and Research!America in 1989. His lifelong commitment to medical research continued through his children - Susan, John and Peter - and their work with the Whitehead Institute, Research!America and other advocates on behalf of medical research.

About Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a leading, nonprofit research and educational institution that has defined the cutting edge of biomedical science, creating a legacy of research excellence and academic eminence. Wholly independent in governance, finances and research programs, Whitehead shares a teaching affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Whitehead provides scientists with the resources and the freedom to follow their scientific interests, form novel collaborations and conduct high-risk research. While probing basic biological processes, its faculty Members and Fellows develop innovative technologies and lay the foundation for projects that improve human health – pioneering programs in cancer research, immunology, developmental biology, stem cell research, regenerative medicine, genetics and genomics. In 2013, Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley received an award from Whitehead as a “champion of biomedical research.”

Award Benefactors