2018 — Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa
Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center specializes in the treatment of liver cancer. Dr. Abou-Alfa serves as the chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Task Force for Hepatobiliary Cancers, the chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) Non-AIDS Defining Malignancies (NADC) Liver/GI Task Force, and is the President-Elect for the International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology. Dr. Abou-Alfa has lectured worldwide on the subject on liver cancer. He serves as the chair the medical/scientific board of Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association and the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, and also serves on the National Medical Advisory Committee of the American Liver Foundation.
Upon hearing he won the award, Dr. Abou-Alfa stated, “I am truly very honored and touched. Thank you for the generous award and recognition. This is a great honor especially coming from Blue Faery. I am thrilled to continue to work with you and help you with your impressive endeavor.”
2017 — Dr. Amit Singal
Dr. Singal is an expert in hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in early tumor detection and screening process failures. He serves as Clinical Chief of Hepatology and Medical Director of the Liver Tumor Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Singal is leading several federal and state-funded projects to evaluate interventions to improve the effectiveness of early tumor detection efforts among patients with cirrhosis. He has published several book chapters on HCC and over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
After learning he won the award, Dr. Singal replied, “I am truly honored to receive the Blue Faery Award for Excellence in Liver Cancer Research, and it is a privilege to be among the leaders in the HCC field who previously won the award. I have strived to improve HCC early detection and prognosis through my research, and this award helps reinforce the importance of these goals. I look forward to continue working with your group on improving outcomes for patients at-risk and/or with HCC.”
2016 — Dr. Alan Venook
As the lead of the gastrointestinal oncology clinical program and the Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Alan Venook is a nationally recognized expert in colorectal and liver cancers. Dr. Venook has published more than 70 original articles, chapters or books dealing with gastrointestinal malignancies. He has chaired the Scientific Program for ASCO 2015 and the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Hepatobiliary Task Force. He is a member of NCI’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee and currently chairs the Gastrointestinal Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, where he oversees an extensive clinical trial portfolio.
Upon receiving the 2016 Blue Faery Award, he stated, “Thank you very much for this honor.”
2014 — Dr. Xin W. Wang
As the Liver Carcinogenesis Section Chief and Senior Investigator at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dr. Xin W. Wang seeks to identify better biomarkers for early detection, molecular signatures that can help predict prognosis and molecular mechanisms of liver cancer that may allow for personalized therapy for the treatment of HCC and other liver diseases. Dr. Wang has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters in high impact journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics and Gastroenterology. He is the recipient of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Merit Award, NCI Director Award and NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization Award for his outstanding accomplishments in biomedical research.
After receiving notification that he was the 2014 BFA winner, Dr. Wang stated, “Thank you so much for recognizing our work and for supporting our future research initiative. We share a common interest, which is to find a cure for liver cancer. I appreciate what your organization has done for this important cause. Your work is inspiring for researchers like us to continue our journey and to work hard to find a way to control this dreadful disease.”
Read Dr. Wang’s article titled “Targeting heterogeneity in hepatocellular carcinoma” published in Oncology News in their March/April 2015 issue.
2013 — Dr. Mark Feitelson
As a Professor of Biology at Temple University and a Co-Director of the Temple Biotechnology Center, Dr. Mark Feitelson focuses on understanding the biology of hepatitis B and hepatitis C and how they lead to the development of chronic liver diseases including liver cancer. The author of two books, Dr. Feitelson has over 100 publications in highly ranked international scientific journals. He has also delivered more than 160 oral presentations/posters at national and international meetings and more than 100 lectureships across the world. In 2005, Dr. Feitelson distributed Blue Faery’s HCC Chinese Patient Education Brochures in four treatment centers in China.
Dr. Feitelson was delighted to receive the Blue Faery Award stating, “Thank you so much! This is very special to me because I know it represents our shared commitment to a world where people are no longer dying of liver cancer. That has been my professional goal for more than 30 years, and I know that is your goal as well. I am so happy to know that there are others in this world who share my perspective, and I know that together we could accomplish what neither one of us can do alone.”
2011 — Dr. William B. Coleman
An established and highly respected scientist, Dr. William B. Coleman researches pre-cancerous cells in the liver as a possible cause of HCC with the goal of targeting these cells before cancer starts. Dr. Coleman is the director of graduate studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. His laboratory is involved in several major projects including the identification, isolation, and characterization of human liver tumor suppressor genes; liver progenitor cell responses to toxic liver injury; and transplantation of liver stem-like progenitor cells for correction of genetic liver disease.
Upon receiving the news that he was one of two recipients of this year’s Blue Faery Award Dr. Coleman replied, “Thanks for this excellent news. It’s a real honor.”
Read Dr. Coleman’s article titled “Liver Stem-like Cells: Progenitor Cells for Liver Cancer?” published in Oncology News in their September/October 2011 issue.
2011 — Dr. Hashem B. El-Serag
Working as a physician, scientist, and epidemiologist, Dr. Hashem B. El-Serag has significantly improved the lack of knowledge regarding HCC surveillance in various U.S. populations. Blue Faery recognized his efforts to increase public health awareness and to promote early detection of the disease in order to give liver cancer patients the best chance of survival. Dr. El-Serag is the chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor College of Medicine and GI section chief at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center; he has published almost 20 peer-reviewed articles related to HCC within the past two years. His research interests include but are not limited to hepatocellular carcinoma, viral hepatitis, chronic liver disease, and the screening and surveillance of GI and liver cancers.
After discovering he was one of this year’s recipients of the Blue Faery Award, Dr. El-Serag responded, “Thank you for the notification; I am indeed honored with this selection and thankful to the selection committee.”
2010 — Dr. Jorge Marrero
As director of the Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic at the University of Michigan, Dr. Marrero published 23 articles on HCC-related topics from 2008 – 2009. The Blue Faery board selected Dr. Marrero as the second recipient of the BFA for his outstanding achievements in liver cancer research. Currently, he is involved in studies that examine new therapies for HCC, the most exciting of which inhibits blood vessel growth in tumors. In addition, Dr. Marrero evaluates new strategies for the early detection of liver cancer.
After receiving the Blue Faery Award, Dr. Marrero said, “I am truly honored to have been recommended by the Blue Faery board members. I am aware of the Adrienne Wilson case and of the liver cancer association in her name. I have a passion for doing research in liver cancer and this award will make [me] work even harder to achieve the goals of the Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association. I am truly honored for this distinction and will continue to work hard on making progress [liver cancer research].”
Note: Dr. Marrero is currently the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
2009 — Dr. Snorri S. Thorgeirsson
An esteemed doctor who has dedicated his professional life to fighting liver cancer, Dr. Thorgeirsson has been with the National Cancer Institute since 1976. He is currently the chief of the laboratory of experimental carcinogenesis—a position he has held since 1981. Between 2007 and 2008, Dr. Thorgeirsson published 13 articles on HCC-related topics. Dr. Thorgeirsson’s findings could help doctors tailor their treatments to specific types of HCC to more effectively fight the disease.
Upon receiving the Blue Faery Award, Dr. Thorgeirsson stated, “I am delighted and honored to be the recipient of the first annual Blue Faery Award for Excellence in Liver Cancer Research. I am of course aware and deeply respectful of your untiring dedication to advance research in Liver Cancer. This award is certainly a stimulus to vigorously continue our quest to conquer this dreadful disease.”