SITC Announces 2021 Medal of Honor Recipients

Oct. 22, 2021

MILWAUKEE – The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to announce BioNTech cofounders Uğur Şahin, MD and Özlem Türeci, MD as the recipients of the SITC Medal of Honor for the development of the vaccine against COVID-19.

Dr. Şahin and Dr. Türeci, whose efforts championing the development and distribution of
the vaccine against COVID-19 using mRNA technology saved countless lives, will be honored in-person during the society’s 36the Annual Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Şahin and Dr. Türeci will share the story of Project Lightspeed and the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are grateful to Dr. Şahin and Dr. Türeci,” said SITC President Patrick Hwu, MD. “We all recognize the incredible contributions of Project Lightspeed to humanity, and we are honored to have them accept this medal and present at SITC 2021.”

Following the presentation of the Medal of Honor and presentation on Project Lightspeed, Dr. Şahin will lead a scientific hot topic session, RNA Vaccines: from COVID back to Cancer, with Tal Zaks, MD, PhD. Dr. Şahin and Dr. Zaks will discuss the future of RNA vaccines for cancer and what the cancer immunotherapy community can learn from the COVID-19 vaccine.

To learn more about this award, visit SITC CONNECT.

About SITC

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the world’s leading member-driven organization specifically dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. Established in 1984, SITC, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, serves scientists, clinicians, academicians, patients, patient advocates, government representatives and industry leaders from around the world. Through educational programs that foster scientific exchange and collaboration, SITC aims to one day make the word cure a reality for cancer patients everywhere. To learn more, visit

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