PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research is deeply saddened by the loss of former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Bernadine P. Healy, M.D., and former Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, two distinguished leaders who separately championed the promise of biomedical research throughout their illustrious careers. Healy died of brain cancer on Aug. 6 at the age of 67. Hatfield died after battling a long-term illness on Aug. 7 at the age of 89.
“On behalf of the AACR, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the Healy and Hatfield families,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research. “Both of these individuals were champions of public health. Their unstinting dedication to improved methods of disease prevention and treatments resulted in important public activism and support for cancer and biomedical research. Their work has saved countless lives, and all of us are deeply thankful for their vision and their extraordinary legacies.”
Healy, who was the first woman to lead the NIH (1991-1993), will be long remembered for her commitment to research on women’s health. In 1991, she established the Office of Research on Women’s Health in the NIH Office of the Director. She also started the Institute for Nursing Research and the Women’s Health Initiative, a definitive, far-reaching U.S. study of women’s health. Healy also served as deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Policy and president of the American Red Cross.
A highly respected statesman, Hatfield (R-Ore.) served for 30 years as a senator from Oregon, where he was well known for his ability to work with members of both political parties. During his long tenure on the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which he served as chair and ranking member for 16 years, Hatfield played an instrumental role in significantly increasing the budget for the NIH, demonstrating his passion for biomedical research. He was the recipient of the distinguished AACR Public Service Award in 1996 for his tireless support of NIH-funded research and its importance to society. Among many tributes, the Clinical Research Center and hospital at the NIH are named in his honor.
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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.