Newswise — The Association of American Cancer Institutes will present the AACI Distinguished Scientist Award to Brian J. Druker, MD, and the AACI Distinguished Public Service Award to U.S. Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Peter T. King (R-NY) during the 2013 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, September 29 – October 1, in Washington, DC.

Dr. Druker will receive his award and deliver a talk on Monday morning, September 30. Reps. Capps and King will accept their award on Tuesday morning, October 1. The meeting will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Dr. Druker is director and JELD-WEN chair of leukemia research at the Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He led the development of imatinib, also known as Gleevec, which is approved for use with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and other cancers. His current research is aimed at learning why a small percentage of CML patients become resistant to Gleevec and why most patients who use the drug have very low levels of cancer that linger, even after successful treatment.

The AACI Distinguished Scientist Award acknowledges extraordinary scientific accomplishments and contributions to cancer research. Previous honorees are Lee Hartwell, Mary Claire King, Janet Rowley, Stuart Schreiber, Margaret R. Spitz, Bert Vogelstein, Robert Weinberg and Irving Weissman.

AACI’s Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes exceptional leadership in promoting cancer research and passionate commitment to the needs of patients with cancer.

Congresswoman Lois Capps serves as co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus and founded and co-chairs the House Nursing Caucus. She has been a passionate voice on lung cancer prevention, playing a substantive role in passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. She has sponsored and co-sponsored many bills on health care and cancer and served no various health and cancer-related committees and caucuses.

Congressman Peter T. King is a strong supporter of funding to combat deadly illnesses such as breast cancer and prostate cancer and serves as a member of the House Cancer Caucus. He also has been a dedicated and effective leader in the war against breast cancer throughout his years in Congress. Rep. King has supported legislation to increase Medicare reimbursements for screening and diagnostic mammographies; fund research centers to study the relationship between the environment and breast cancer; and require insurance companies to guarantee at least 48 hours hospital care after a mastectomy.

More information about the 2013 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, including the program and electronic registration, is available at AACI’s website, aaci-cancer.org/annual_meeting.

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Representing 95 of the nation’s premier academic and free-standing cancer research centers, the Association of American Cancer Institutes is dedicated to promoting leading research institutions' efforts to eradicate cancer through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program of cancer research, treatment, patient care, prevention, education and community outreach.

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