Contact: Alexander Shtifman
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The Cancer Research Institute, Inc. (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the support and coordination of scientific and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of cancer, announced the winners of the 2009 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research In Basic Immunology. 

* Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D., and Klaus Rajewsky, M.D., both of the Immune Disease Institute and Harvard Medical School, will share equally the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology for their fundamental contributions to our understanding of B-cell development and function, and the mechanisms underlying B cell lymphomagenesis.

The honorees will receive their awards at a black-tie gala to be held the evening of June 11 at the St. Regis in New York City.  MSNBC anchor and correspondent Alex Witt will emcee the event, and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein will give a keynote address.

"The annual awards dinner provides an elegant platform for our organization to recognize the important contributions of scientists and laypersons to the advancement of immunology, tumor immunology, and cancer therapies, all of which provide the underpinnings for the ultimate development of new, immune-based approaches to the treatment, control, and prevention of cancer," said Cancer Research Institute Executive Director Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D.

Other speakers include Cancer Research Institute Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees Donald J. Gogel, president and CEO of Clayton Dubilier & Rice and a dinner co-chair, who will present the Grace Award to Fred Hassan; CRI Scientific Advisory Council Associate Director Glenn Dranoff, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who will present the Coley Award in Tumor Immunology to Cornelis Melief; and CRI Scientific Advisory Council Associate Director James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the Ludwig Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who will present the Coley Award in Basic Immunology to Fred Alt and Klaus Rajewsky.

In addition to Mr. Gogel, the co-chairs for the dinner are Carlos A. Ferrer, founder and managing member of Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC; Thomas P. Koestler, executive vice president and president, Schering-Plough Research Institute; and Andrew M. Paul, chairman, Enhanced Capital Partners, LLC.  More information about the event and the honorees will be made available on the Cancer Research Institute Web site at http://www.cancerresearch.org/events/Annual-Dinner-2009.html.

About the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology:
This award was established in 1975 in honor of Dr. William B. Coley, a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy, whose daughter Helen Coley Nauts (1907-2001) founded the Cancer Research Institute.  Award winners are nominated by CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council, the Academy of Cancer Immunology, and former Coley Award winners, including: Michael J. Bevan (2008), HHMI, University of Washington; Jeffrey V. Ravetch (2007), The Rockefeller University; Ian H. Frazer (2006), University of Queensland; James P. Allison (2005), The Ludwig Center/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Robert D. Schreiber (2001), Washington University School of Medicine.  Each winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a gold medallion designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.  To view a complete list of Coley Award recipients, go to http://www.cancerresearch.org/programs/annual-awards/william-coley.html.

About the Cancer Research Institute:
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the support and coordination of scientific and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of cancer.  Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes five Nobel Prize winners and thirty members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI supports cutting-edge cancer research at top medical centers and universities throughout the world.  The Cancer Research Institute is ushering in a new era of scientific progress, hastening the discovery of effective cancer vaccines and other immune-based therapies that are providing new hope to cancer patients.

The Cancer Research Institute has one of the lowest overhead expense ratios among non-profit organizations, with more than 86 percent of its resources going directly to the support of its science, medical, and research programs.  CRI meets or exceeds all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, the most comprehensive U.S. charity evaluation service, and according to Charity Navigator exceeds or meets industry standards and performs as well as or better than most cancer charities.  CRI has also received an 'A' grade for fiscal disclosure and efficiency from the American Institute of Philanthropy as well as top accolades from other charity watchdog organizations. www.cancerresearch.org