Distinguished Service Awards

Each year, the IASLC honors professionals who have made major contributions to the field of thoracic cancers with its Distinguished Service Awards.
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Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Scientific Award

The Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Scientific Award recognizes an IASLC scientist for a lifetime achievement of scientific contributions to thoracic cancer research. Dr. Paul Bunn’s studies set worldwide standards for the treatment of lung cancer and identified issues of natural history and biomarkers of prognosis and therapy selection. Robert Ginsberg, MD, a thoracic surgeon from Toronto, Canada, earned the first award in 1994 for his contributions to the surgical treatment of early stage lung cancer. Initially named the Scientific Award, the IASLC renamed the award in honor of Dr. Bunn after he served as its executive director and CEO for 10 years.


Joan Schiller

Joan H. Schiller, MD, FASCO

Adjunct professor at the University of Virginia, a board member of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation
United States

Dr. Schiller has held many influential roles. She is the former division chief of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Texas-Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center where lead UTSW's process to become an NCI-designated cancer center and then an NCI-designated comprehensive center in 2015. She was also Deputy Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Dallas. Currently Dr. Schiller is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia, a board member of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and a member of the IASLC Lung Cancer News (ILCN) Editorial Group.

Before the era of targeted therapy and immunotherapy, the only treatment for advanced lung cancer was chemotherapy. Dr. Schiller’s early work was influential in defining the appropriate drugs, the appropriate number and combinations of drugs, and the duration of treatment for both SCLC and NSCLC.

  • 1994: Robert Ginsburg
  • 1997: John D. Minna
  • 2000: Daniel C. Ihde
  • 2003: Paul van Houtte
  • 2005: Thierry LeChevalier
  • 2007: Frances Shepherd
  • 2009: Bruce Johnson, Tom Lynch
  • 2011: Nagahiro Saijo
  • 2013: David R. Gandara
  • 2015: Yi-Long Wu
  • 2016: Roy Herbst
  • 2017: Tony Mok
  • 2018: Charles Swanton
  • 2019: Charles Rudin

The Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award


​​​​​​In 2019, the IASLC Board of Directors unanimously voted to elevate its recognition of Dr. Adi F. Gazdar to one of its highest honors by renaming the IASLC Merit Award for Dr. Gazdar.  The Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award proudly recognizes and honors Dr. Gazdar’s lifelong dedication to lung cancer research through his pioneering work in molecular pathology.  The recipient of the annual Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award is chosen by the IASLC Executive Committee and is announced and recognized at the annual World Conference on Lung Cancer.


Journals adjei alex

Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD

Professor of Oncology and Professor of Pharmacology in the Mayo College of Medicine
United States

Dr. Adjei's career has been spent in drug development, focusing on evaluating mechanisms of drug action and synergistic drug combinations in the laboratory, while performing phase I clinical trials in the clinic. As the PI on over 70 phase I trials, he has performed important studies of multiple agents including sorafenib, bortezomib, antisense oligonucleotides, PI3-kinase inhibitors, MEK inhibitors and oncolytic viruses.

Dr Adjei is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO) and inaugural Editor-in-Chief of JTO Clinical Research Reports (JTO CRR). Both journals feature novel research about the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. With an Impact Factor of 13.357, JTO is now among the top 5% of all oncology journals and the leading journal that is entirely focused on thoracic oncology. It emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and includes original research, reviews and opinion pieces. JTO CRR, IASLC’s open access companion title, publishes a range of manuscripts from subset analyses of published trials to high-quality case reports.

Dr. Adjei is also Director of the Early Cancer Therapeutics Program across all three Mayo Clinic sites, and leader of the Lung Cancer Program at these locations. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Mayo phase I and phase II NCI grants. Dr Adjei has served on a number of National Cancer Institute Committees. He is currently co-chair of the Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee.

In addition, he has authored 290 publications dealing primarily with preclinical pharmacology and phase I trials as well as novel therapeutics/phase II trials of lung cancer.

  • 1991: Clifton F. Mountain, USA
  • 1994: Norman Bleehen, UK; Yukio Shimosato, Japan
  • 1997: Heine H. Hansen, Denmark
  • 2000: Desmond N. Carney, Ireland
  • 2003: Paul A. Bunn Jr., USA
  • 2005: Harubumi Kato, Japan
  • 2007: Peter Goldstraw, UK
  • 2009: Giorgio V. Scagliotti, Italy
  • 2011: David Ball, Australia
  • 2013: James Jett, USA
  • 2015: Harvey Pass, USA
  • 2016: Keunchil Park, South Korea; Sumitra Thongprasert, Thailand
  • 2017: Ramon Rami-Porta, Spain
  • 2018: Francoise Mornex, France
  • 2019: Hisao Asamura, Japan

Recipients of the annual Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award are announced at the annual World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Mary J. Matthews Pathology/Translational Research Award

The Mary J. Matthews Pathology/Translational Research Award recognizes an IASLC scientist for a lifetime achievement in pathology and translational research of thoracic malignancies. Dr. Matthews served as a senior investigator and pathologist at the National Cancer Institute’s Medical Oncology Branch. She was pioneer in the foundation of the histologic subtypes of lung cancer and the relationship between those subtypes and the clinical course of lung cancer. Geno Saccommano, MD, PhD, a physician and cancer researcher who dedicated his life to developing a pioneering technique to assist in the early detection of lung cancer was the first to receive the award in 1994.


Caroline Dive

Caroline Dive, CBE, PhD, FBPhS, FMedSci

Director of the CRUK Manchester Institute Cancer Biomarker Centre, University of Manchester
United Kingdom

Prof. Dive is currently President of the European Association for Cancer Research. She was awarded the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize in 2012 for her biomarker research, the AstraZeneca Prize for Women in Pharmacology in 2016, and the 2019 Heine H. Hansen Lectureship Award by the IASLC. She was also awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to cancer research. Her research interests span tumor biology, biomarker discovery, preclinical pharmacology, and biomarker assay validation and qualification. 

  • 1994: Gene Saccomanno, USA
  • 1997: William D. Travis, USA
  • 2000: Yukio Shimosato, Japan
  • 2003: Adi Gazdar, USA
  • 2005: Elisabeth Brambilla, France
  • 2007: Fred R. Hirsch, USA
  • 2009: Masayuki Noguchi, Japan
  • 2011: Philip Hasleton, UK
  • 2013: Tetsuya Mitsudomi, Japan
  • 2015: Ming Tsao, Canada
  • 2016: Keith Kerr, UK
  • 2017: Yasushi Yatabe, Japan
  • 2018: Ignacio Wistuba, USA
  • 2019: Andrew Nicholson, UK

Joseph W. Cullen Prevention/Early Detection Award

The Joseph W. Cullen Prevention/Early Detection Award recognizes an IASLC scientist for a lifetime achievement in the prevention of thoracic malignancies. Dr. Cullen served as the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. He created the Smoking, Tobacco and Cancer Program at the NCI in 1982. The winner of the first award in 1994 was Jesse Steinfeld, MD, the U.S. Surgeon General when the National Cancer Act of 1971 was enacted into federal law.


Pan-Chyr Yang

Pan-Chyr Yang, MD, PhD

Chair Professor at the National Taiwan University Hospital and Academician of Academia Sinica

Dr. Yang is the former President of National Taiwan University and has been a professor in the department of internal medicine at the College of Medicine for 27 years. He has also served as the Director of the Advisory Office for the Ministry of Education for the Republic of China (Taiwan) and as Dean for the College of Medicine at National Taiwan University.

His current research focuses on lung cancer genomics, molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis, and translational research related to precision therapy of lung cancer. His passion and interest in lung cancer prevention began early in his career. 

  • 1994: Jesse Steinfeld, USA
  • 1997: Clifford Douglas, USA
  • 2005: Nigel Gray, Australia
  • 2007: James Mulshine, USA
  • 2009: Stephen Lam, Canada
  • 2011: John Field, UK
  • 2013: Pieter Postmus, Netherlands
  • 2015: Jacek Jassem, Poland
  • 2016: Ugo Pastorino, Italy
  • 2017: Carolyn Dresler, USA
  • 2018: Nise Yamaguchi, Brazil; Fadlo Khuri, Lebanon
  • 2019: Denise Aberle, USA