History

For more than 45 years, the IASLC has helped shape the field of lung cancer care.
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The IASLC's History

The IASLC's History

In 1972, in response to the overwhelming need for collaboration and a growing concern for public health, Drs. David T. Carr, Oleg S. Selawry, Lawrence Broder, Clifton Mountain and George Higgins began building an international, multidisciplinary organization. In 1974, the group launched the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) at their first formal meeting in Florence, Italy, having recruited more than 250 founding members from across the globe and with different perspectives.

Since then, the IASLC has grown into a professional, international organization of more than 8,000 members. Global experts have come to rely on the IASLC’s World Conference on Lung Cancer, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, as well as on its scientific programs and educational events to inform their practice of medicine, research and patient care. From doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to scientists, patients and advocates, the IASLC continues to unite people around the goal of eradicating lung and thoracic cancers.

History of the IASLC

World Conference on Lung Cancer

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Each year, the IASLC hosts its signature event, the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC). The inaugural WCLC brought together a small collection of specialists on Hilton Head Island in 1978. 

Over 40 years later, the WCLC has become the largest global event dedicated solely to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting over 7,000 attendees from across the lung cancer community, including physicians, investigators, nurses, allied health professionals, survivors and patients.

In 2019, the IASLC held its 20th WCLC in Barcelona, Spain, drawing a record-breaking 7,750 attendees from over 100 countries. 

Through the hard work of the IASLC leadership and staff, as well as our local organizing committee, the meeting will undoubtedly serve as an invaluable resource for the continuing education of the global lung cancer community. 

For more information about this year's WCLC, please visit the WCLC website.

History of the Chief Executive Officer

In 1994 the IASLC appointed Dr. Heine H. Hanson as its Executive Director, to manage the association's operations, initiatives and staff. Under the leadership of Dr. Hanson and his successors Dr. Paul Punn Jr., Dr. Fred R. Hirsch, and Dave Mesko, the IASLC experienced growth in terms of staffing, membership, activities, and overall impact. As the IASLC looks to the future of the CEO role, the association will move forward with a CEO with a background focused in medicine and science. 

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Heine Hanson

Heine H. Hanson

Executive Director, 1994-2003

United States

Heine H. Hanson was a founder of the IASLC, eventually serving as Executive Director from 1994 - 2003. During his tenure, Dr. Hansen led the association to growth in membership and attendance at the World Conference on Lung Cancer, setting it on the strong course that it continues to enjoy today. 

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Paul A. Bunn Jr.

Chief Executive Officer, 2003-2013

United States

Dr. Paul A. Bunn Served as the IASLC's CEO from 2003 - 2013, overseeing the launch of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, significantly growing its membership, making significant contributions to screening, and establishing the World Conference on Lung Cancer as the largest international gathering of clinicians, researchers, and scientists in the field of lung cancer and thoracic oncology.

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Headshot of Dr. Fred R. Hirsch

Fred R. Hirsch

Chief Executive Officer, 2013-2018

United States

Dr. Fred R. Hirsch served as the IASLC's CEO from 2013 - 2018. Under his leadership, the IASLC's membership doubled while moving into a stronger financial position. The Journal of Thoracic Oncology moved to a new publisher resulting in significant growth of the impact factor. 

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Dave Mesko

Dave Mesko

Chief Executive Officer, 2018-2021

United States

Dave Mesko served as the IASLC' Chief Executive Officer from 2018-2021. Dave brought a wealth of knowledge in management, finance, strategy, and process to the CEO position. Navigating the staff by honoring the association's past, embracing the present, and planning for the future. 

History of The IASLC President

Throughout its long history, the IASLC has benefited from the strategic vision of its President. Many lung cancer luminaries have held this title since the mid-1970s when the organization was founded. Each leader has left an indelible mark, playing a fundamental role in its ongoing growth and development to ensure the IASLC remains a powerful resource in the fight against lung cancer. 

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Heather Wakelee

Heather Wakelee

IASLC President

2021-2023

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Tetsuya Mitsudomi

Tetsuya Mitsudomi

IASLC President

2019-2021

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Giorgio Scagliotti

Giorgio Scagliotti

IASLC President

2017-2019

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David Carbone

David Carbone

IASLC President

2015-2017

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Tony Mok

IASLC President

2013-2015

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Goldstraw_Peter

Peter Goldstraw

IASLC President

2011-2013

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David Gandara

David Gandara

IASLC President

2009 - 2011

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Nagahiro Saijo

Nagahiro Saijo

IASLC President

2007-2009

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Desmond Carney

Desmond Carney

IASLC President

2005-2007

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Frances Shepherd

Frances Shepherd

IASLC President

2003-2005

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Harubmi Kato

Harumbi Kato

IASLC President

2000-2003

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Giovanni Motta

Giovanni Motta

IASLC President

1997-2000

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Paul A. Bunn Jr.

IASLC President

1994-1997

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Yoshihiro Hayata

Yoshihiro Hayata

IASLC President

1991-1994

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Heine Hanson

Heine H. Hanson

IASLC President

1988-1991

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Ronald Vincent

Ronald Vincent

IASLC President

1985-1988

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Shiohiro Ishikawa

Shiohiro Ishikawa

IASLC President

1982-1985

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Pierre Alberto

Pierre Alberto

IASLC President

1980-1982

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George Higgins

George Higgins

IASLC President

1978-1980

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Clifton Mountain

IASLC President

1977-1978

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David Carr

David Carr

IASLC President

1976-1977

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Headshot of Oleg Selawry

Oleg Selawry

IASLC President

1974-1976