University of Chicago's Richard Schilsky elected President of ASCO for 2008-2009 term

February 15, 2007

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, an internationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal cancers, cancer pharmacology and drug development, has been selected president elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. Schilsky will take office as president-elect during ASCO's 43rd annual meeting in Chicago in June 2007 and will serve as president for a one-year term beginning in June 2008.

A professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical research at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Schilsky has served as chair, since 1995, of Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a cooperative group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that conducts clinical trials in cancer treatment, biology, prevention and health outcomes. His laboratory and clinical research have been continuously funded by the NCI since 1987.

"This is quite an honor and a considerable responsibility," said Schilsky. "I am deeply committed to ASCO's mission of improving cancer care and prevention and look forward to the opportunity to serve ASCO in this new capacity, and to work through this great organization to help improve the lives of those living with cancer."

An active ASCO member since 1980, Schilsky has served on the ASCO board of directors, as board liaison to the grants selection committee, as chair of the personnel, public relations and cancer research committees, as the program committee chair and as a member of the steering committee for the 2006 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. From 1990 to 1993, Schilsky served as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Oncology and has participated in and led many scientific sessions at ASCO annual meetings. Presently, he is a member of the ASCO government relations council.

In addition to his work with ASCO, Schilsky has served as chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He served on several peer review and advisory committees for the National Cancer Institute and has been a member of NCI's board of scientific advisors since 1999. He was recently appointed to the NCI clinical trials advisory committee.

Schilsky is an associate editor of Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer and is a member of the editorial boards of Seminars in Oncology, the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology, The Oncologist, CURE and several other journals. He has published more than 240 articles.

Two other members of the current University of Chicago faculty--radiation oncologist Samuel Hellman, 1986–87, and medical oncologist Harvey Golomb, 1990-91--have served as presidents of ASCO since it was founded in Chicago in 1964 and the late John Ultmann served as its president in 1981–82.

ASCO's nearly 25,000 members from the United States and abroad set the standard for patient care and lead the efforts to discover more effective cancer treatments, increase funding for clinical and translational research, and, ultimately, improve cancer care for the estimated 10 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. ASCO publishes the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the preeminent, peer-reviewed, medical journal on clinical cancer research, and produces People Living With Cancer, a comprehensive consumer Web site providing oncologist-vetted cancer information to help patients and families make informed health care decisions.

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