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Ahmed, Gajewski to Receive Top Awards from Cancer Research Institute

Published Online:4:18 PM, Fri December 1, 2017

Rafi Ahmed, PhD
Rafi Ahmed, PhD, of Emory University, and Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago, received the highest honors from the Cancer Research Institute for their fundamental contributions to the fields of immunology and cancer immunotherapy during the Institute’s 31st Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, November 14, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and an investigator at the Emory Center for AIDS research, will receive the 2017 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology for his seminal work on immune memory, as well as his definitive studies of the role of PD-1 receptor in T cell exhaustion during chronic infection.

Gajewski, leader of the Immunology and Cancer Program, director of the Human Immunologic Monitoring core facility at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a professor in the departments of pathology and medicine, will receive the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology. Gajewski’s work has enhanced the understanding of the interactions between tumors, immune cells, and other factors that play a role in the immune response to cancer.

Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD
Each Coley Award honoree will receive a $5,000 prize and a gold medallion bearing the likeness of Coley.

Also during the awards dinner, Shannon J Turley, PhD, will receive the 2017 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology. The award recognizes a former CRI-Irvington postdoctoral fellow whose research has had a major impact on immunology.

Funded by CRI from 2002-2004, Turley is a principal scientist on the cancer immunology team at Genentech, where she focuses on how stromal cells and immune cells influence each other in the context of inflammation, cancer, fibrosis, and response to immunotherapy.

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