The World Affairs Council of Connecticut marked Connecticut’s global leadership in cancer research and innovation at the organization’s 2018 Luminary Awards program. The Council honored Yale Cancer Center, a ground-breaking center for global health, as the 2018 Luminary Award recipient, noting that “innovations made here in Connecticut impact health on a global scale.” The Yale Cancer Center is one of the select few centers in the nation and the only one in southern New England designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. Through pioneering research, health innovations, and breakthrough treatments, the Yale Cancer Center is leading the world in cancer research for the betterment and advancement of our global community.
“Through collaboration among world-class institutions of education, healthcare, bio-pharma, and research here in Connecticut, the state has developed a health ecosystem that enables scientific risk-taking and fosters a well-developed network of some of the world’s premier hospitals,” the Council website pointed out.
Honored at the event, and participating in a conversation moderated by CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Max Gomez, highlighting their work in the field, were:
- Lieping Chen, MD, PhD, described as the “Father of Immunotherapy”
- Patricia LoRusso, DO, a transformational leader in cancer clinical trials
- Vincent DeVita, MD, a pioneer of chemotherapy and founder of the leading international textbook of oncology, “Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology”
- Joan Steitz, PhD, an international pioneer in understanding the role of RNA in biology & cancer development & progression
Also in attendance to receive the Yale Cancer Center’s recognition was Dr. Charles Fuchs, Director of the Yale Cancer Center, Physician-in-Chief of the Smilow Cancer Hospital, and Richard & Jonathan Sackler Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine.
The annual Luminary Award is the signature event of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut. It honors one or more individuals or an organization from Connecticut that has profoundly influenced global affairs, with a strong emphasis on achieving the overall betterment of the world. Past recipients include United Technologies, AmeriCares, ESPN International, and Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.
In addition to the focus on the work of the Yale Cancer Center, a number of students were recognized for their accomplishments by the World Affairs Council.
Hartford Public High School student MaSei Pan, who will be attending Central Connecticut State University this fall to study international affairs, received the Peter G. Kelly Global Scholar Award. She arrived in the U.S. six years ago as a refugee from Thailand. She grew up in a refugee camp, was delayed in starting school until age 8, and came to the U.S. without knowing English. Today, she excels in school and uses her experience to help others, including newly arrived immigrants.
The Global Engagement Award was presented to RHAM High School student Skylar Haines, who traveled to Mexico to teach English at the Serapio Elementary School, and subsequently organized fundraisers to purchase a computer lab and musical instruments for the school. She has also written a book of poetry about her experiences.
Global Engagement honorees were Maria Hoffman of Glastonbury High School, who focused on climate change and elephant migration in Botswana, and a trio from Westminster School in Simsbury, Shane Wahlberg, Lucas Wahlberg and Carson Roth, who devoted their attention to Sustainable Farming and Humanitarian Assistance for Cuba.