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.
2022 DSA Award Ceremony

Submit Your Nominations

DSA Nominations 2023

The IASLC Distinguished Service Awards recognize the "luminaries" in lung and thoracic cancers with lifetime achievement awards for their outstanding contributions to the field and to the IASLC. The four awards are the Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Scientific Award, the Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award, the Mary J. Matthews Pathology/Translational Research Award, and the Joseph W. Cullen Prevention/Early Detection Award.

You may nominate up to five qualified IASLC members for each award. The deadline to nominate colleagues is Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Self-nominations are also allowed. The deadline to self-nominate and/or accept a nomination is Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

Click on the button below for more information on each of these awards, including eligibility criteria and nominating instructions. Before submitting any nominations, please ensure that the candidate you are nominating meets the eligibility criteria (to the best of your knowledge). On behalf of the IASLC Board of Directors, we thank you for your nominations for these important awards. Please 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.

2022 Award recipient

James Yang

James Yang, MD, PhD

Director of Graduate Institute of Oncology, National Taiwan University

James Chih-Hsin Yang, MD, Ph.D., received his MD from National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei in 1986 and completed his Ph.D. degree at the Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, NTU, in 2000.  

He completed his internal medicine residency at the NTU Hospital. Between 1992 and 1995, he undertook medical oncology fellowship training for early-phase cancer trials and new cancer drug development at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He has been a staff member in the Department of Oncology at the NTU Hospital since 1995 and chaired the Department of Oncology between 2015-2020. He was appointed as the superintendent (Director) of the NTU Cancer Center hospital in Aug 2020, and Director of NTU Cancer Research Center in Aug 2021. He is the President of the Taiwan Oncology Society since Sep 2021, and the President of the Taiwan Association for the Study of Lung Cancer since April 2022.  

Dr. Yang’s research focuses on lung cancer treatment and the mechanism of resistance to chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Dr. Yang is a leader in lung cancer new drug development. He and other Asian investigators have established EGFR TKI as the front-line treatment for lung cancer patients with EGFR mutation (IPASS study).  

He is also the principal investigator of several studies that led to the global approval of the 2nd-generation irreversible EGFR TKI, afatinib, and contributed to the development of 3rd-generation EGFR TKI, osimertinib. His studies were highly focused on the various approach to improving the treatment outcome of EGFR mutation-positive patients. He contributed and established the standards for the treatment of uncommon EGFR mutation patients and leptomeningeal metastasis patients.  

His clinical research included EGFR TKI combination with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and immunotherapy. He has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Cancer Discovery, and Journal of Thoracic Oncology, etc. He served more than 15 years as associate editor of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.  

He received many awards such as the 2nd Kobayashi Foundation Cancer Research Award from the Asian Clinical Oncology Society in 2012, the distinguished research award of the Taiwan National Science Council 2012-2015, the TECO award for biotechnology in 2015, the distinguished research award of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, from 2016-2018 and Academic Award from Taiwan Ministry of Education in 2018; Outstanding Scholar Award, Foundation For the Advancement of Outstanding Scholarship 2019 Aug -2021 Jan. Chair Professor Award, Taiwan Ministry of Education, 2021 Feb to 2024 Jan and Chair Professor of National Taiwan University in 2021.  

He is also the highly cited researcher of 2019, 2020, and 2021 in the Clinical Medicine category awarded by Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science Group). He gave numerous speeches at international conferences, including many oral presentations of study reports in ASCO, ESMO, and the World Conference on Lung Cancer.   

  • 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

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.

2022 Merit Award Winner

Valerie Rusch 2022 Gazdar Recipient

Valerie Rusch, MD, FACS

Attending Thoracic Surgeon, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Surgery, and Member of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
United States

Dr. Valerie W. Rusch is an Attending Thoracic Surgeon, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Surgery, and Member of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she holds the Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers.   

After residencies in general and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Washington, she was a Faculty Associate at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, then a faculty member at the University of Washington.   

She moved to MSKCC in 1989, where she served as Chief of Thoracic Surgery from 2000 to 2013. Dr. Rusch’s career has been devoted to thoracic surgical oncology, to clinical and translational research, and she has been PI for multiple NCI-sponsored Cooperative Group clinical trials.  

Dr. Rusch is a Past President of the American College of Surgeons and has held leadership positions in ASCO, the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. She has served as a Director and Chair of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.   

Dr. Rusch is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, is an author of more than 450 peer-reviewed publications, holds more than 50 visiting professorships, and has delivered more than 400 invited lectures.    

  • 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.

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.

2022 Winner

Rafael Rosell Matthews Award

Rafael Rosell, MD, PhD

Director of the Cancer Biology and Precision Medicine Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology. Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman & Founder of Pangaea Oncology SL.

Dr. Rafael Rosell is Director of the Cancer Biology and Precision Medicine Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (Badalona, Barcelona, Spain), Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman and Founder of Pangaea Oncology SL (Barcelona), Chief Medical Officer and President of the Dr. Rosell Oncology Institute (IOR), Quirón Dexeus, General de Catalunya & Sagrat Cor Univ. Hospitals (Barcelona), and Founder and President of the Molecular Oncology Research Foundation (Barcelona). He is the Founder and Director of International Relations and Projects, Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SLCG), a member of the Foundation Council and Steering Committee of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP), and on the Foundation Board of the ETOP- International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG).  

He is also a Panel member of the ASCO Clinical Practice Living Guidelines- Systemic Therapy for Stage IV NSCLC.  

Dr. Rosell’s contributions to translational medical oncology, with particular emphasis in the field of non-small-cell lung cancer with EGFR mutations, have earned him international renown.  

His five greatest contributions to research are as follows:  

  1. Rosell's first prima facie study, improving survival based on neoadjuvant chemotherapy in resectable non-small cell lung cancer patients (Stage IIIAN2), transformed the management of NSCLC worldwide (Rosell et al. N Engl J Med. 1994).  

  1. In 2004, Rosell conducted the first large-scale screening study on EGFR mutations in NSCLC, showing survival benefit in 217 patients treated with erlotinib (Rosell et al. NEJM 2009).   

  1. Rosell’s EURTAC study (Rosell et al. Lancet Oncology 2012) led to FDA approval of erlotinib as first-line treatment in EGFR-mutant NSCLC.  

  1. In 2013, Rosell was recognized by The Lancet as the highest authority in lung cancer. (David Holmes: Rafael Rosell: leading the long march against lung cancer: Lancet, 2013)  

  1. Rosell pioneered the study of evading resistance mechanisms to targeted therapy by bypassing signaling pathways, STAT3 and YAP, and collaborated with other international groups on the subject (Rosell, Bivona, Karachaliou, Lancet 382:720-730, 2013).    

Dr. Rosell is fully dedicated to the improvement of lung cancer therapy. His current research programs include continued investigation in translational/preclinical research, liquid biopsy, and novel technologies with NGS. In 2018, he was selected to participate in The European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA).  

Dr. Rosell has authored over 600 articles in scientific journals. From 2012 to 2021, he has written more than fifteen invited comments in The British Journal of Cancer, The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, among others, including:    

  1. Arrieta et al. Efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab plus docetaxel alone in patients w/ previously treated advanced NSCLC. The PROLUNG phase 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Oncol 2020.  

  1. Gonzalez-Cao et al. Assessment of feasibility and safety of durvalumab for treatment of solid tumors in patients w/HIV-1 infection. Phase 2 DURVAST study. JAMA Oncol 2020.  

  1. Arrieta et al. Effect of metformin plus TKIs compared with TKIs alone in patients w/EGFR -mutated lung adenocarcinoma. Phase 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Oncol 2019.  

  1. Rosell et al. Erlotinib and bevacizumab in patients w/advanced NSCLC and activating mutations (BELIEF). Intl, multicenter, single-arm, phase 2 trial. Lancet Resp Med 2017.  

  1. Chaib et al. Co-activation of STAT3 and YES-associated protein 1 (YAP1) pathway in EGFR-mutant NSCLC. JNCI 2017.  

Prominent awards:   

  • Raymond Bourgine, ICACT, 2012  

  • Hamilton Fairley Award, ESMO, 2011  

  • Eminent Clinical Scholar in Residence, Emory University, Atlanta, 2005  

  • 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

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.

2022 Winner

Edward Patz 2022 Cullen Award

Edward F. Patz, Jr., MD

James and Alice Chen Distinguished Professor of Radiology. Professor in Pharmacology & Cancer Biology. Professor in Pathology.
United States

Dr. Patz is a thoracic radiologist with a long-standing interest in early lung cancer detection, molecular diagnostics, and novel therapeutic strategies. He has been studying lung cancer for over 25 years and has been involved in numerous clinical trials including the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST).  

He has also been the principal investigator of a basic science laboratory that currently has projects on the clonal evolution of tumors, cell-free plasma DNA as biomarkers for early detection, and the role of inflammation in cancer. While remaining focused on early cancer detection and treatment, his out-of-the-box type of approach has required him to explore and integrate a broad spectrum of different disciplines.  

His work has resulted in a number of seminal publications and impacts on patient care, but this is an amazingly complex challenge that requires innovative strategies. His experience as both a clinical and basic science researcher, particularly in lung cancer biology, provides a unique perspective to help move these innovative types of translational projects forward with the ultimate goal to improve patient care and outcomes.  

Dr. Patz was on the ACRIN- NLST Executive Committee, helped design and was the Chair of the ACRIN-NLST Biomarker Committee, and has been involved with many other lung cancer initiatives, including the IASLC staging project.

  • 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