Stephen A. Rosenberg, MD, Ph.D., is the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery’s 2020 Samuel D. Gross Prize winner. The prize is accompanied by a $5,000 monetary award and will be presented on November 2, 2020. Rosenberg was chosen by a panel of esteemed Philadelphia Academy of Surgery members.
Rosenberg is the chief, surgery branch, senior investigator, and head, tumor immunology section for the NIH, National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research. He has pioneered the development of effective immunotherapies and gene therapies for patients with advanced cancers. His studies of the adoptive transfer of genetically modified lymphocytes have resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with melanoma, sarcomas and lymphomas.
Rosenberg’s current research is aimed at defining the host immune response of patients to their cancers. These studies emphasize the ability of human lymphocytes to recognize unique cancer antigens and the identification of anti-tumor T cell receptors that can be exploited to develop new cell transfer immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer patients.
As chief, Rosenberg also oversees the branch’s extensive clinical program aimed at translating scientific advances into effective immunotherapies for patients with cancer.
The Samuel D. Gross Prize was established by Samuel D. Gross (1805-1884), the founder of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery. In his will, he provided $5,000 for a prize to be given every five years for the best original research in surgery by an American citizen.
“The Gross Prize is the oldest prize in the world for surgical research, preceding the Hunter Prize of the RCS, and the Flance-Karl Award of the American Surgical Association. It has a long reputation for ground-breaking work, including Dr. John Alexander’s first discussion in English on surgery for tuberculosis, Dr. Emile Holman’s first treatment of AV fistula, and Dr. Robert Elman’s parenteral alimentation,” says Dr. John R. Clarke, the 1983 Gross Prize winner and Executive Director Emeritus of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery.
Recent Gross Prize recipients include Dr. N. Scott Adzick for fetal surgery in 2015, Dr. Anthony Atala for regenerative medicine in 2010, Dr. Thomas Starzl for liver transplantation in 2005, and Dr. Judah Folkman for angiogenesis in 2000.