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.
DSA 2023

The IASLC Distinguished Service Awards recognize the "luminaries" in the field of lung and thoracic cancers- those who are further along in their careers and are more high-level in their field of work- for their outstanding contributions to the field and the IASLC.On behalf of the IASLC Board of Directors, we thank you for your nominations for these important awards.

Applications for the 2024 awards are now closed. Please let us know if you want to apply next year below, and direct any questions to lectureshipnominations@iaslc.org

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.

2023 Award recipient

Suresh Ramalingam

Suresh Ramalingam

Executive Director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
United States

Suresh S. Ramalingam is the Executive Director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University (Atlanta, USA). He serves as Professor and the Roberto C. Goizueta Chair for Cancer Research at the Emory University School of Medicine.   Dr. Ramalingam’s research is focused on the development of novel treatment approaches for patients with lung cancer. Specifically, his group has developed novel treatment options for lung cancer patients harboring an EGFR mutation, resulting in FDA approval of third-generation inhibitors for metastatic NSCLC.

He also leads clinical and translational investigations of novel immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of lung cancer. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, with over 36,000 citations and a H-index of 80. His research has been published in leading journals, including the NEJM, Lancet, Science, Nature, PNAS, JCI, JCO, and JTO. He serves as the principal investigator for the Emory University Lung Cancer SPORE award from the NCI. Dr. Ramalingam serves as Deputy Chair for Therapeutics Programs at ECOG-ACRIN and is a former chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Thoracic Malignancies Committee. He is the Editor-in-chief for ‘Cancer’ journal (American Cancer Society).

Dr. Ramalingam has received several awards, including the James R. Eckman Award for Excellence at Emory University and the Distinguished Cancer Scholar Award Georgia Cancer Coalition. In addition, he is a recipient of the ASCO Career Development Award (2006–2009), the ECOG Young Investigator Award (2013), and the NCI ‘Clinical Investigators Team Leadership Award’ (2010-12). Dr. Ramalingam served as a member of the board of directors for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) (2017-21) and as a member of the NCI Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee (2012-2021). He is past president of the Georgia Society of Oncology and a former member of the Emory Healthcare board of directors.    

  • 1994: Robert Ginsberg, Canada
  • 1997: John D. Minna, USA
  • 2000: Daniel C. Ihde, USA
  • 2003: Paul van Houtte, Belgium
  • 2005: Thierry LeChevalier, France
  • 2007: Frances Shepherd, Canada
  • 2009: Bruce Johnson and Thomas J. Lynch, USA
  • 2011: Nagahiro Saijo, Japan
  • 2013: David R. Gandara, USA
  • 2015: Yi-Long Wu, China
  • 2016: Roy Herbst, USA
  • 2017: Tony Mok, Hong Kong
  • 2018: Charles Swanton, UK
  • 2019: Charles Rudin, USA
  • 2020: Joan Schiller, USA 
  • 2021: David P. Carbone, USA
  • 2022: James Yang, Taiwan

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.

2023 Merit Award Winner

Myung-Ju Ahn

Myung-Ju Ahn

Professor of Hemato-Oncology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul
South Korea

Myung-Ju Ahn is Professor of Hemato-Oncology at the Department of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul. She is a member of numerous research associations and societies, including the ISLAC, AACR, and ASCO and is currently Chief of the Executive Committee and Chairperson of Lung Cancer Disease Committee of the KCSG. She is the current president of the KSMO and was chairperson of the multidisciplinary Immuno-oncology Study Group (2017–2018). She is a board member for the KCA, KSMO, and KALC, and is on the Journal of Thoracic Oncology editorial board. Prof Ahn received her medical and doctoral degrees from Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, and completed her residency training at Hanyang University Hospital.

She has held numerous research fellowships, including a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and has authored over 250 cancer research publications. Her research interests include the development of predictive and prognostic markers for personalized lung cancer therapy. She has recently focused on early clinical trials for the development of drug discovery and reposition of targeted drugs and the development of a NSCLC genome atlas.

Her accolades for her dedication to cancer research include Best Researcher Award, KMWA (2003); Best Researcher Award, KACO (2015); Boryoung Scientific Award, Korean Cancer Research Foundation (2018), and Highly Cited Researcher, Clavirate analytics (2019); Daniel C. Ihde Lectureship Award for Medical Oncology (IASLC, 2020).      

  • 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
  • 2020: Alex Adjei, USA
  • 2021: Michael Boyer, Australia

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

  • 2022: Valerie Rusch, United States

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.

2023 Winner

Fernando Lopez-Rios

Fernando Lopez-Rios

Chief of the Molecular Diagnostics Service, “12 de Octubre” University Hospital in Madrid

Fernando Lopez-Rios, MD, PhD  Fernando Lopez-Rios has recently joined the Department of Pathology at “12 de Octubre” University Hospital (Madrid) as the Chief of the Molecular Diagnostics Service. He received his medical degree and PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at Autonoma University and Complutense University respectively and completed his residency in Pathology at “12 de Octubre” University Hospital (Madrid). Dr Lopez-Rios has also been the Director of the Therapeutic Targets Laboratory at “HM Hospitales” and a visiting researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York). His main clinical and research expertise is in cancer biomarker testing, with a special interest in lung cancer and mesothelioma. He is currently a member of the IASLC Pathology Committee.      

  • 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
  • 2020: Caroline Dive, UK
  • 2021: Deepali Jain, India
  • 2022: Rafael Rosell, Spain

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.

2023 Winner

Bill Evans

William Evans

Clinical Lead for Smoking Cessation at Ontario Health (CCO)

My interest in thoracic oncology developed in my early career (1975-1985)working at the Toronto General Hospital with an impressive group of thoracic surgeons. Participated with them in the adjuvant clinical trials of North American Lung Cancer Study Group, in NIH-funded studies of nutritional support in lung cancer, and numerous trials of systemic therapy for NSCLC and SCLC. Initiated the first trials of etoposide-cisplatin in SCLC and made first presentation on this regimen at IIIrd WCLC. In 1985 became Head Medical Oncology and in 1988, the CEO of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre. The administrative role enabled collaboration with Statistics Canada on modeling of lung cancer and determination of costs of care; lead to the concept of diagnostic assessment units for lung and other cancers.  

Eventually implemented lung DAUs for more efficient diagnostic work up across the province of Ontario. In 2010, promoted the need for smoking cessation in regional cancer centres to improve the clinical outcomes of cancer patients. Lead Cancer Care Ontario Steering Committee to create a framework and implementation for smoking cessation (SC) within the 14 regional cancer centres in Ontario. Initiative in Ontario lead to a pan-Canadian effort through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) to implement SC in provincial cancer centres.

Participated in the launch of the CPAC initiative and spoke at numerous cancer centers across Canada. Over 90% of cancer centres now have SC programs. Collaborated with Statistics Canada and CPAC to model lung cancer, including LDCT screening with and without SC, influencing the design of Ontario screening Pilot.  

Currently Clinical Lead for Smoking Cessation at Ontario Health (CCO). Continue to drive change: extension of SC to screening programs, DAUs, inpatient oncology, and to enhance data capture on smoking status over patients' clinical journey. Over 300 peer-reviewed publications, 20 focused on screening and aspects of SC since 2014.

  • 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
  • 2020 Pan-Chyr Yang, Taiwan
  • 2021: Gabriella Sozzi, Italy
  • 2022: Edward F. Patz Jr., United States