Honorees at Research!America’s 21st Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 15 in Washington, D.C. exemplify the steadfast commitment of advocates for research in defeating disease and strengthening our nation’s preeminence in science and innovation.
Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, was presented with the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for leading the White House Cancer Moonshot Taskforce and The Biden Foundation’s cancer initiative. In his remarks, Biden said now is the time to redouble our efforts to fight cancer. “We can make sure many more chronic diseases don’t cost you your life, but only if we break down barriers. I see the day a patient is given the right therapy the first time when they are diagnosed. I see the day when prevention is more effective, and where care is personalized and more effective with less side effects.”
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, received the Legacy Award for his tireless work to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious and immune-mediated diseases. “I’m entirely grateful to have been put into this position and to have been witness to and to have played a relatively small part of this extraordinary story of biomedical research,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) spokesperson, was the recipient of the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion. Bates said she is a lymphedema and lymphatic research advocate not for herself, but for the millions of people living with lymphedema.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was presented with the Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy. In a video acceptance speech, Sen. Alexander said, “Congress has been a little slow on finding areas they can agree on, but one thing we can agree on is the importance of biomedical research.” Sen. Alexander was instrumental in leading passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in the Senate. “I look forward to continuing my work with my Senate colleagues to help drive research discoveries.” Research!America Chair The Hon. Michael Castle presented the award to Sen. Alexander at his office on Capitol Hill March 22.
Other honorees included Leland H. Hartwell, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and director of the Pathfinder Center at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine, who received the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award for his leadership as president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center from 1997–2010. Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership for advancing cancer research. The Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award was presented to The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). Susan Manzi, M.D., MPH, co-founder and director of the Lupus Center of Excellence, and Allie Gutshall, patient advocate and volunteer for LFA, accepted the award on the Foundation’s behalf.