Press Release: The Foundation for Women’s Cancer Announces 2012 Recipient of the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher

Austin – March 26, 2012 – The Foundation for Women’s Cancer, and the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation announce today that Dr. George Coukos has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Researcher. The $50,000 prize is being presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 43st Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Austin, TX.

Dr. Coukos is the Celso Ramon Garcia Professor of Reproductive Biology, Director, Ovarian Cancer Research Center and Associate Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2000 Dr. Coukos received the Foundation/Bristol-Myers Squibb Young Investigator Oncology Award, and in 2005 he received the prestigious Foundation/Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen, MD,”Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize.”

Since he discovered that immune surveillance mechanisms are spontaneously activated in select patients, Dr. Coukos has focused on testing the hypothesis that tumor immunotherapy can provide tangible clinical results in ovarian cancer treatment.

Dr. Coukos has contributed more than 150 original papers in his field of interest, and received numerous awards from private foundations. He also is Principal Investigator on several awards, including DOD awards and several NIH grants including a NIH Roadmap Transformative RO1.

Each year over 88,000 women will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and about 29,000 will die from these cancers. Gynecologic cancers include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Dr, Coukos. “Support from the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation allows us to further our research to prevent, treat, and develop early detection methods that will extinguish this deadly disease and put an end to gynecologic cancer.”

The prize is funded by the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation in honor of Claudia Cohen who lost her battle with uterine leiomyosarcoma in 2007. Ms. Cohen was a highly respected journalist and philanthropist. The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation was founded by Ms. Cohen’s daughter Samantha, and her sisters Caleigh and Debra Perelman to foster research aimed at reducing the burden of gynecologic cancer.

“We are very pleased that the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation can meaningfully contribute to help recognize and develop the talented researchers we need to succeed in conquering gynecologic cancer,” said Dr. Eric A. Rose, advisory board member, Claudia Cohen Research Foundation.

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer/Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Researcher is one of three prizes, six ovarian cancer grants and one endometrial cancer grant announced during the SGO Annual Meeting. Another highlight of the meeting will be the celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary.

Since announcing its first grant in 1995, the Foundation has awarded 88 research grants, totaling over $4.5 M. Its research program targets promising young researchers who often receive their initial research funding from the Foundation. The Foundation is grateful to the many families and individuals who give generously each year to support this important research endeavor.

“Our partnership with the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation allows us to recognize our most productive researchers and provide key support as they continue to explore critical questions about how to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer,” said Dr. David M. Gershenson, Chairman, Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

For more information about the Foundation for Women’s Cancer and the prevention, early detection and optimal treatment of gynecologic cancers, visit foundationforwomenscancer.org. For more information about the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation, visit claudiacohenfoundation.org.

About the Foundation for Women’s Cancer
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer is dedicated to expanding public awareness, education, research and training to improve the prevention, early detection and optimal treatment of gynecologic cancers. A national organization dedicated to the eradication of all reproductive cancers, the Foundation has provided more than $4 million in research funding since 1995, earning recognition from Worth Magazine as one of the nation’s 100 best charities.

About the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation
The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation is dedicated exclusively to support research leading to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of gynecologic cancer with a special emphasis on gynecologic sarcoma.

Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Research
The mission of The Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Research is to develop leaders in cutting-edge research as it relates to gynecologic cancer with a special emphasis on but not exclusive to gynecologic sarcoma. Due to the paucity of research in the area of gynecologic sarcoma cancer, the foundation especially wants to encourage applicants with strong interest in that area. An annual prize of $50,000 will be awarded.

Spotlight

This special section in Self Magazine features a GYN surgeon and 34-year-old (at the time of diagnosis) patient.

Awareness

This year’s National Race to End Women’s Cancer aims to spread the word that all women should Love Your Ladyparts! Check out site’s new features and join the MOVEMENT.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be notified in January. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The next Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Course will be February 7-8 in Anchorage, Alaska. For more information on educational events and courses, click here.