The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has selected Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, FAACR, to receive the 2020 AACR-Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research.

Dr. Le Beau is the  Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine and director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC), a position she has held since 2004.  She also serves as Director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory.

Dr. Le Beau is an internationally renowned leader in the field of cancer genetics and is heralded for using cytogenetic and molecular genetic tools to identify critical recurring abnormalities in human leukemias, including inversions, translocations, and deletions of chromosomes 5 and 7 in leukemia following cancer treatment. She is known as a tireless champion of cancer research on the international stage.

As director of the UCCCC, Dr.Le Beau has overseen the reorganization of the cancer center, making care more efficient for patients and providers.  Dr. Le Beau’s strategic vision to reform the cancer center to better allow the sharing of resources and talent led to the Comprehensive Cancer Center accreditation by the National Cancer Institute in 2008.  Dr. Le Beau is also renowned for her mentorship of early-career scientists, training many who have gone on to become leading cancer researchers themselves.

Dr. Le Beau, a member of the AACR since 2002, served on the AACR Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015 and chaired the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Committee in 2016. She has also served on the AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee, AACR Finance and Audit Committee, Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research Committee, and AACR Tellers Committee. In addition, Le Beau is a scientific editor for the AACR’s newest scientific journal, Blood Cancer Discovery.

Among other significant appointments, Dr.  Le Beau has served as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (2012-2014), member of the executive committee of the American Society of Hematology (2014-2017), and member of the World Health Organization Clinical Advisory Committee (2014-2017). She is currently a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine, the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute.

The Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research was established in 2007 to recognize a champion of cancer research whose leadership and extraordinary achievements in cancer research have had a major impact on the field. Such achievements may include scientific contributions to the acceleration of progress against cancer, significant accomplishments associated with national or international awareness of the importance of cancer research, or other ways of demonstrating a sustained extraordinary commitment to cancer research.