The prestigious Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award 2024 will be awarded to Maria Rescigno, head of the Mucosal Immunology and Microbiota Laboratory of Humanitas, professor of General Pathology and vice-rector of Research at Humanitas University. The award celebrates “scientists of demonstrated academic excellence, who have achieved important results in cancer research and who, through their leadership and example, have promoted the role of women in oncology research.” The prize will be awarded at the Annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) which will be held between 10 and 13 June 2024 in Rotterdam.
Graduated in Biology at the University of Milan, Maria Rescigno specialized in Applied Biotechnology at the University of Milan-Bicocca, was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge (England) and worked at the CNR, where she obtained her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology. From 2001 to 2017 you were director of the Dendritic Cell and Immunotherapy Research Unit in the Department of Experimental Oncology at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and from 2008 to 2013 you were visiting professor at the University of Oslo. In 2016 you founded Postbiotica, a start-up for the modulation of the microbiota. Today you teach general pathology at Humanitas University, where you are also vice-rector for research, and direct a laboratory that studies the relationship between the immune system and the microbiota at IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas. She has authored over 200 publications in high-impact journals including Science, Nature Immunology, Immunity.
His main research interest is mucosal immunology and the microbiota, and in particular the role of the latter in the development and progression of various diseases, including oncological ones. Among the most relevant results obtained in the fight against tumors we remember: the discovery of an immune evasion mechanism which could pave the way for the development of new immunotherapy treatments; the discovery of the key role of the intestinal microbiota in driving disease progression, metastasis formation and response to immunotherapies; the development of a therapeutic vaccine for melanoma and metastatic sarcoma – currently still in the preclinical testing phase – potentially capable of making tumor cells more visible to the immune system.
Maria Rescigno has received numerous awards including the Avon award as ‘symbolic woman of the city of Milan’ (2011), an honorable mention from the Belgian Embassy (2022), the Roma award for business, economy and social affairs (2022), the De Sanctis Prize for social health (2023) and the NordSud prize of the Pescarabruzzo Foundation (2023).
The Pezcoller Foundation is a non-profit institution, whose goal is to promote scientific research against diseases that afflict humanity, especially cancer. The Founder, Prof. Alessio Pezcoller, was Head Doctor at the Santa Chiara Hospital in Trento in Italy. The Foundation was established in 1980.
Thanks to its ever-growing recognition within the international oncology community, the Foundation collaborates with some of the most important oncology institutions: the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) . The Pezcoller Awards are officially recognized during the international conferences of the two associations.