Newswise — The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) will present 2019 Public Service Awards to U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Fred Upton (R-MI) on Monday, October 21, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
In addition to supporting cancer centers in Florida and Michigan, respectively, Reps. Castor and Upton have championed increases in cancer research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). They were nominated by AACI members and selected by the AACI Board of Directors.
Rep. Castor has made a profound impact on cancer prevention in Florida by initiating and sustaining a long-term campaign to raise awareness of cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccine. Since 2013, Rep. Castor has collaborated with stakeholders throughout Florida—including community health centers, public health colleges, nonprofit organizations, places of worship, and civic groups—to increase rates of HPV vaccination. As a result of Rep. Castor’s commitment, HPV vaccination rates in Florida have increased significantly. She is currently developing federal legislation aimed at increasing HPV vaccination nationwide. This represents a major step toward the elimination of cervical cancer, with other HPV-related cancers to follow.
Rep. Upton is a strong supporter of biomedical research in general, and cancer research in particular. Alongside Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep. Upton co-authored the 21st Century Cures Act, which increased federal funding for the NIH and the NCI to accelerate the development of medical products, drugs, and devices to benefit patients. Reps. Upton and DeGette were both honored by AACI in 2015 for their role in developing the legislation, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2016. As a member of the House Childhood Cancer Caucus, Rep. Upton advocates in support of measures to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and reduce their negative long-term effects.
AACI established the Public Service Award in 2003 to recognize public servants for their support of the NIH, the NCI, and cancer centers in their respective states. Past recipients of the award include Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA).
The AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting covers topics of both scientific and operational value, providing attendees with opportunities to learn from their peers in the cancer research community.
The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) comprises 98 premier academic and freestanding cancer research centers in the U.S. and Canada. AACI is dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer by enhancing the impact of the leading academic cancer centers.