PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced today that Elaine S. Jaffe, MD, will receive the inaugural AACR James S. Ewing-Thelma B. Dunn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pathology in Cancer Research.
The AACR established this new award to honor pathologists who continue to build upon the legacies of James S. Ewing. MD, and Thelma B. Dunn, MD. Two quintessential pioneers of cancer pathology, Ewing served as the AACR’s first president, while Dunn was the organization’s first female president. This award in their honor recognizes and celebrates pathologists who have significantly contributed to advancing cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. This award also serves to underscore the AACR’s ongoing commitment to the growth and support of pathologists worldwide who are engaged in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. Funding for this new award is provided by an unrestricted educational grant from Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company, and Janssen Biotech Inc.
Jaffe is head of the Hematopathology Section of the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Distinguished Investigator. She is being recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to the pathological diagnosis and pathogenesis of hematological neoplasms and her discoveries of multiple novel pathological entities. Of the many achievements throughout her career, Jaffe is most widely known for her early discovery of the differences between B cells and T cells, and for her early work that helped to provide a deeper understanding of the origin of lymphomas. She helped update the way lymphomas are diagnosed by integrating traditional pathology with immunologic and genomic approaches.
During her tenure as president of the Society for Hematopathology, Jaffe successfully led the classification initiative to standardize the diagnostic criteria for lymphoma and leukemia. Her leadership helped to build an international consensus on the issue, which became known as the Revised European-American Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasms (REAL). REAL was eventually ratified by the World Health Organization and, to this day, remains the gold standard in hematopathology.
Jaffe is also a devoted educator and mentor. She received the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2001 from the NCI and the Distinguished Clinical Teacher award in 2006 from the NIH Clinical Fellows Committee. According to the NIH, more than 75 percent of fellows graduating from her program stay in the field of academic medicine.
“The AACR is very proud to honor Dr. Jaffe as the inaugural recipient of the AACR James S. Ewing-Thelma B. Dunn Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pathology in Cancer Research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Her discoveries have impacted the lives of countless patients throughout the world. Through her pioneering contributions to hematopathology, she has greatly improved the diagnosis of hematologic malignancies and deepened our understanding of cancer and the immune system.”
Jaffe has been a member of the AACR since 2011 and is a member of the AACR journal Blood Cancer Discovery’s editorial board. She previously served as an associate editor for the AACR journal Cancer Research from 1993-2000. Jaffe was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2008 and as a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1993. In addition to serving as president of the Society of Hematopathology from 1994-1996, she served as president of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology from 1998-1999.
Jaffe has been honored with many awards throughout her career, including the Berard-Dorfman Founders Award (2019), Center for Cancer Research Federal Technology Transfer Award (2017, 2018, 2019), Arthur Purdy Stout Society President’s Award (2016), Rous-Whipple Award of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (2016), John Ultmann Award for Contributions to Lymphoma Research (2014), Philip Levine Award for Outstanding Research (2014), Harrison and Lya Cordova Latta Award Lecture in Experimental Pathology (2014), Henry M. Stratton Medal (2013), Gregory T. O’Conor Award for Outstanding Contributions to Haematopathology (2013), FDA Leveraging and Collaboration Award for the Breast Implant and ALCL Working Group (2012), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Distinguished Graduate Award (2011), NIH Merit Award (2011), NIH Director’s Award (2010), Chugai Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Scholarship (2008), Lennert Prize of the European Association for Haematopathology (2006), Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award (2006), NIH Director’s Merit Award for Graduate Medical Education (2005), Walter G. J. Putschar Lecture and Award (2003), F. K. Mostofi Distinguished Service Award (2003), 25th Annual Fred W. Stewart Award (2002), Cecil A. Krakower Award Lecture (2002), and the George Kypridakis Memorial Lecture Award (2000).
Jaffe earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.