Heather Wakelee, an emerging lung cancer researcher, has won the 2015 ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Award, as recently announced by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Wakelee is currently an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a faculty director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office at the Stanford Cancer Institute. She is also a member of the ECOG-ACRIN Thoracic Committee and a crucial contributor to the ECOG-ACRIN Thoracic Surgery Subcommittee and the Lung Biology Subcommittee.
The Young Investigator Award was established in 1999 and its purpose is to recognize exquisite scientific contributions and achievements made by researchers during the first years of their careers. The committee includes previous recipients and one awardee is selected each year. This is one of the highest distinctions given by the ECOG-ACRIN.
“Dr. Wakelee has already made huge contributions to our thoracic cancer program in ECOG-ACRIN and she is one of the truly rising stars in lung cancer research,” said the group co-chair Robert Comis.
Wakelee directs a distinguish lung cancer clinical program that she created herself. She has made huge advances in adjuvant therapy to address lung cancer.
“Dr. Wakelee serves in important leadership roles at Stanford. In addition to running the thoracic medical oncology program and directing our cancer clinical trials, she is the Stanford principal investigator for ECOG-ACRIN and for Stanford’s NCI Lead Academic Participating Site U10 grant,” stated George W. Sledge, chief of the Division of Medical Oncology and professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The researcher is responsible for a phase III trial in patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer testing chemotherapy with and without bevacizimab. This is so far the largest adjuvant chemotherapy trial carried on in North America for individuals suffering with early stage lung cancer. She is also involved in a randomized phase II trial to assess the combination of cabozantinib and erlotinib to treat non-small cell lung cancer.
She serves in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and in the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) with her expertise. She also participates in the International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group (ITMIG).
“Dr. Wakelee has developed into an internationally recognized thoracic medical oncologist, who demonstrates tireless effort in support of ECOG-ACRIN and is truly deserving of the ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Award. She is a true ECOG-ACRIN loyalist, and indeed, a champion of cancer clinical trials at every level. She will continue to be a driving force in the field of medical oncology for many years to come,” concluded Dr. Sledge.