We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2024 Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award is Maria Rescigno (Humanitas University and Humanitas Research hospital, Italy).
The Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award celebrates a cancer researcher who has demonstrated academic excellence and achievements in the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of women in cancer research. The award is presented at the annual EACR Congress to a researcher of excellence who has spent the majority of their research career in Europe, and the winner receives a €10,000 honorarium.
Maria Rescigno will deliver the Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award lecture at the EACR 2024 Congress. She will also be invited to give a lecture in Trento, Italy, at the Pezcoller Foundation.
Maria Rescigno is full professor, vice-rector and delegate for research at Humanitas University and group leader at Humanitas Research hospital, Milan. She graduated in Biology in 1990 at the University of Milan. From 1991 to 1994 she worked at the University of Cambridge, UK, in the Department of Biochemistry, as a visiting scholar. From 1995 to 1999, she worked at the National Research Council of Milan where she received her PhD in Pharmacology and toxicology in 1999. From 1999 to 2001 she worked at the University of Milano-Bicocca where she specialized in Applied Biotechnology. From 2001 to 2017 she has been the director of the Dendritic cell biology and immunotherapy Unit at the Department of Experimental Oncology at the European Institute of oncology. She was the first to show that dendritic cells actively participate to bacterial uptake in the gut, the existence of a gut vascular barrier that resembles the blood brain barrier and the discovery of a new vascular barrier in the choroid plexus.
Her major field of interest is mucosal immunology, the microbiota and the development of new cancer immunotherapy strategies. She authored more than 200 publications in high impact journals including Science, Nature Immunol, Immunity, J. Exp. Med., Science TM. She was elected EMBO young investigator in 2007 and in 2011 EMBO member. In 2008-2013 she was visiting professor at the University of Oslo. She has been the recipient of three ERC grants (starting, proof-of-concept and consolidator). From 2019 she is member of the EMBO council. She seats in the technical and scientific board of several charities, funding agencies and in different companies. She has received several awards including the Avon prize as 'symbolic woman of the city of Milan' (2011), a mention of honor of the Belgian embassy (2022), the Rome prize for business, economics and social affairs (2022) and the De Sanctis prize for social health (2023).
In 2016 Maria Rescigno has founded Postbiotica s.r.l. a spin-off of the University of Milan that exploits microbiota-derived metabolites as new pharmaceutical agents. In 2017 Postbiotica has won two competitions: Bioupper (Italy) and MyStart BCN (Spain).
The Pezcoller Foundation is a non-profit institution, whose goal is to promote scientific research against diseases which afflict mankind, specifically the fight against cancer. The Founder, Prof. Alessio Pezcoller, was Chief Surgeon at Santa Chiara Hospital in Trento, Italy. The Foundation was established in 1980.
The Foundation depends primarily on the substantial sum of money bequeathed by Professor Alessio Pezcoller, and by significant contributions from its sponsors: the Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto Foundation, the Province of Trento, the Administrative Councils of Trento and of Rovereto and other occasional private donations.
Due to its ever increasing recognition within the international oncological community, the Foundation collaborates with some of the most important cancer institutions: the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR). The Pezcoller Awards are officially recognised during the international conferences of the two above mentioned associations.
Above: 2024 winner Maria Rescigno
2023: Johanna Joyce (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
2022: María Soengas (Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, CNIO, Spain)
2021: Karen Vousden (Crick Institute, UK)
The EACR is grateful for the continued support of its Industry Partners: