SITC Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Scholars Award: $150,000 in Funding for an Emerging Leader in Immuno-Oncology

June 14, 2021

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2021 Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Scholars Award. Established in 2020 in honor of Dr. Rosenberg, this award recognizes his many contributions to the field by supporting investigators who are emerging leaders in immuno-oncology and are focused on a novel approach to moving the field of immunology and cancer immunotherapy forward. The recipient will receive $150,000 in research funding and be recognized during the Award Ceremony at SITC’s 36th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2021) this November. 

After completing surgical residency training in 1974, Dr. Rosenberg became the Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a position he still holds today. As Chief of Surgery, he oversees an extensive clinical program to translate scientific advances into effective immunotherapies for patients with cancer.

“Through his lab at the NCI, Dr. Rosenberg has engaged with hundreds of scientists, both young and old,” said SITC President Patrick Hwu, MD, who worked with Dr. Rosenberg at the NIH. “He has focused on creating a whole new way to approach cancer through immune cells. His work is inspiring a whole new generation of physician scientists to put the patient first, tackle the tough problems and never give up.”

Dr. Rosenberg has saved thousands of lives. His work pioneered the first effective immunotherapies and gene therapies for patients with advanced cancers and his studies of cell transfer immunotherapy have resulted in durable complete remission in patients with metastatic melanoma. He has also trained hundreds of cancer researchers, many of whom are leaders in the field of immunotherapy.

“In my years with Dr. Rosenberg at the NCI, I grew to appreciate not just his brilliant approach to science, but his wisdom and passion, which has shaped my career trajectory,” said Arie Belldegrun, MD. “The impact of his mentorship to hundreds of fellows and professors continues to ripple throughout the field of immunotherapy and beyond to help millions of patients. This scholarship paves the way for the next generation of scientists to be inspired by Dr. Rosenberg’s extraordinary legacy to find cures for cancer.”

Eric Tran, PhD (Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute), was recognized as the inaugural award recipient at SITC’s 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting. Dr. Tran trained at the NCI with Dr. Rosenberg and has extensive experience in translational and clinical adoptive T-cell therapy against cancer and in evaluating the T-cell response against tumor neoantigens.

The society is seeking the best and brightest early career investigators to continue Dr. Rosenberg’s legacy. To propose someone for consideration, complete the nomination form and send to Nominations are due July 15, 2021.


About the Forward Fund

In 2012, SITC established the Forward Fund in to stimulate the future of science through the development and application of cancer immunotherapy. Since then, more than $5 million has been awarded by the Forward Fund to support early career scientists through research and education. Thanks to our generous donors, hundreds of early career scientists’ careers have been shaped by the Forward Fund. By providing fellowships, young investigator awards and other unique initiatives, SITC is inspiring the next generation, advancing the science and tackling the hurdles facing the field.

About SITC

Established in 1984, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is a nonprofit organization of medical professionals dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the development, science and application of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology. SITC is comprised of influential basic and translational scientists, practitioners, health care professionals, government leaders and industry professionals around the globe. Through educational initiatives that foster scientific exchange and collaboration among leaders in the field, SITC aims to one day make the word “cure” a reality for cancer patients everywhere. Learn more about SITC, our educational offerings and other resources at and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

Media Contact

Alicia Schuessler, Associate Executive Director
(414) 271-2456

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