2018 Richard V. Smalley, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship

The Richard V. Smalley, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship is named in honor and memory of the past SITC president and charter member. A charter member of the society, Dr. Smalley was an integral part of SITC’s fabric from its inception, serving on the original Board of Directors from 1984-1990, and as the society’s third President from 1988 - 1990, leading the society through some of its most formative years.

Established in 2005, the SITC Smalley Award is the society’s most prestigious award given to a recognizable clinician/scientist and luminary in the field that has significantly contributed to the advancement of cancer immunotherapy research. The award honors those who have been pioneers in their work and made a notable impact worthy of high regard and recognition by their peers.

SITC is proud to recognize Philip D. Greenberg, MD, Head, Program in Immunology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle), and Professor, Medicine (Oncology) and Immunology, University of Washington (St. Louis, Mo.), as the 2018 Richard V. Smalley, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship recipient.

About Philip D. Greenberg, MD

Dr. Phil D. Greenberg is a world expert in discovering how disease-fighting immune cells known as T cells can be manipulated to treat a range of cancers. As head of Fred Hutch’s Program in Immunology, Dr. Greenberg led the team that first showed it is possible to extract T cells from a sick patient’s body, isolate the desired disease-fighting T cells, multiply them to billions in the laboratory, and infuse these targeted T cells back into the patient to seek and destroy particular diseased cells. That same approach has since been used to treat patients with advanced melanoma and other cancers.

Among other honors, Dr. Greenberg has twice received the National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, and his peers have elected him a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians. He has played a role on numerous national committees and boards, and he is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cancer Research Institute.

Dr. Greenberg also developed a way to aim T cells specifically at leukemia cells, genetically engineering them to efficiently recognize a protein that “flags” tumor cells while sparing healthy cells without the protein flags. Currently, this therapy is in clinical trials for leukemia patients who have relapsed and is showing great promise. His lab is also developing equivalent approaches targeting lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. In addition to his cancer research, Dr. Greenberg is collaborating with a large team to develop effective laboratory models to facilitate the development of a vaccine to augment the immune system’s response to HIV.


Philip D. Greenberg, MD 

Photo Credit: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center