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.

2021 Winner

David Carbone

David Carbone, MD, PhD

Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the James Thoracic Oncology Center at the OSUMC


David Carbone is Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the James Thoracic Oncology Center at the OSUMC. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1977 and received an MD and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University in 1985.  After an Internal Medicine internship and residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he did a Medical Oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. At Vanderbilt he was Director of the Thoracic/Head and Neck Cancer Program, Director of a SPORE in Lung Cancer for 11 years. He was recruited to The Ohio State University in 2012 to direct the James Thoracic Oncology Center. His research interests have been focused on lung cancer and specifically proteomic and expression signature development, lung cancer genetics, tumor-associated immunosuppression mechanisms, proteogenomic profiling of lung cancers to guide the development of novel therapeutics, and targeting novel immunosuppression mechanisms. He has over 250 peer-reviewed publications, has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors, and has continuous NCI funding since early in his career. He is currently Chair of the Lung Biology subcommittee for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and Past-President of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). 

  • 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
  • 2020: Joan Schiller 

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.

2021 Merit Award Winner

Michael Boyer

Michael Boyer, MBBS, FRACP, PhD

Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse


Michael Boyer, MBBS, FRACP, PhD is a medical oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, where he also holds the position of Chief Clinical Officer. He also holds the Kam Ling Barbara Lo Chair in Lung and Thoracic Cancer at the Central Clinical School, University of Sydney.

Following his specialty training in medical oncology at Royal Prince Alfred and Westmead Hospitals, in Sydney, Professor Boyer was a Research Fellow and Clinical Fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, where he completed his PhD in cell biology. He was on the senior staff of the Sydney Cancer Centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from 1993 to 2013. He played an integral role in the development and construction of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a purpose-built cancer hospital, and joined the staff on its opening in 2013. In addition to his clinical roles, he has held senior administrative positions during that time including Head of Department of Medical Oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Director of the Sydney Cancer Centre, and Area Director of Cancer Services for the Sydney South West Area Health Service. In 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his work as an educator, a clinical trials researcher and for his involvement in the development of integrated care facilities for people suffering with cancer.

Professor Boyer has 30 years of experience in the management of thoracic malignancies and head and neck cancers. His major research interest is in clinical trials of new agents in the management of lung cancer, mesothelioma and head and neck cancers. He is the author of over 180 publications, has given numerous national and international presentations, both invited and selected from abstract submission, and is actively involved in the lung cancer community. He chaired the scientific advisory committee of the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group between 2004 and 2011 and was the conference Co-President for the 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer held in Sydney in 2013. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer from 2009 – 2013 and again from 2015 to 2019. He was Director of the Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre from 2016 – 2021. He is currently a member of the Cancer Australia Lung Cancer Advisory Group and is a Board member of the Thoracic Oncology Group of Australasia.

  • 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

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.

2021 Winner

Deepali Jain


Additional Professor in the Department of Pathology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Dr. Deepali Jain is working as an Additional Professor in the Department of Pathology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. She is trained in Pathology from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. Her special interest areas are Thoracic Pathology and Cytopathology. Her current research is focused on thoracic malignancies largely lung cancer in which she is examining molecular biomarkers involved in the pathogenesis and pathology of non-small cell and small cell lung cancer in an ethnically different and diverse population of Indian patients.

Dr. Jain serves on the pathology committee of the International Association for Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) as a member. Dr. Jain has authored and co-authored more than 290 peer-reviewed articles and multiple book chapters.

She is an Editorial Board member of the 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of Thoracic Tumors. She is an Editorial Board member and author of the upcoming 1st Edition of International System for Reporting Lung Cytopathology by IAC-IARC.  She is a member of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR), Thymic Epithelial Tumours dataset authoring committee. She is Editor of Atlas of Thymic Pathology, First edition.

She is a recipient of numerous distinguished national and international scientific awards.

  • 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

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.

2021 Winner

Gabriella Sozzi

Gabriella Sozzi, PhD

Lead of the Tumor Genomics Unit at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori


Gabriella Sozzi, PhD leads the Tumor Genomics Unit at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori (INT) in Milan, Italy. She graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Milan, received her PhD in Medical Genetics at University of Pavia, and also trained in Cancer Genetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sozzi is the past President of the Italian Cancer Society (SIC) and seats in scientific advisory boards of the American-Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (AICF) and Associazione Italiana Ricerca Cancro (AIRC). She coordinates the research area on ‘primary, secondary prevention & early detection of the Italian Ministry of Health at INT Milan.

She received a Junior Investigator Award for Excellence (IASLC) at the 7th WCLC, IASLC Award for Presidential Plenary Session at the 8th WCLC, and the Award for Excellence in Medicine from AICF in 2002. She is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology since 2012 and a member of the IASLC Early Detection and Screening Committee.

Her research activity is centered on all aspects of lung cancer by using an integrated approach that combines cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology to gain new insights in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and on novel ways to provide early diagnosis and treatment options. The goal of her translational studies is the implementation of highly sensitive molecular tests that could be used within screening programs to improve both detection and clinical management of lung cancer.

Her early achievements include the characterization of the key genetic events in lung carcinogenesis, including the identification of the oncosuppressor gene FHIT. Her work has led to the identification of cancer-initiating cells in lung cancer, the characterization of microRNA aberrant expression in lung tumors, and their functional and therapeutic role. She recently broadened her interest focusing to the study of tumor microenvironment and mechanisms of response/resistance to immune-checkpoint inhibitors.

She has developed a plasma microRNA signature useful for risk prediction and early diagnosis of lung cancer in screening programs. In the field of circulating biomarkers, she has a demonstrated record of successful and productive research projects in an area such as Lung Cancer screening of high relevance for the National Health System of almost every country. She is co-investigator of the “Multicentric Italian Lung Detection (MILD)- LDCT screening trial”, “bioMILD- prospective screening trial (miRNA+LDCT)” and  “Screening and Multiple Intervention on Lung Epidemics” (SMILE). 

She has (co)authored of 245 full articles with over 14478 citations and h-index of 60.

  • 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