Conquer Cancer announces 2022 WWCC Mentorship Award Recipients

Vicki Kilpatrick
Dr. Ekhardt and Dr. Garza

Dr. S. Gail Eckhardt and Dr. Cynthia Villarreal-Garza

Alexandria, Va. – Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to announce S. Gail Eckhardt, MD, FASCO, is the Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award recipient and Cynthia Villarreal-Garza, MD, DSc, is the 2022 International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award recipient. 

The 2022 Women Who Conquer Cancer (WWCC) Mentorship Awards recognize female leaders in oncology who are role models and mentors to women training to be cancer clinicians, educators, or researchers. WWCC supports and celebrates the women dedicated to advancing the discoveries of oncology’s emerging female leaders. 

The honorees will be recognized during the ASCO Annual Meeting on June 3 - 7, 2022. ASCO will also honor Special Award Recipients who have worked to transform cancer care around the world. 

Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award   

Dr. Eckhardt is a tenured professor at The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, and she is also the inaugural director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, chair of the Department of Oncology, and associate dean of Cancer Programs. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Eckhardt was at the University of Colorado School of Medicine where she was division head of Medical Oncology from 2006-2014, associate director for translational research at the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Phase I Program and Fellowship. Her area of interest is in the preclinical and early clinical development of combinations of molecularly targeted compounds, with a laboratory focus on colorectal cancer. Dr. Eckhardt has served on numerous committees/study sections, including the ASCO Molecular Oncology Task Force, the ASCO Board of Directors, the FDA Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee, and the NCI Cancer Centers Study Section. She is a member of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee and serves on 11 External Advisory Boards of NCI designated Cancer Centers, was the lead mentor in ASCO’s 2018-2019 Leadership Development Program, and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). Dr. Eckhardt is the principal investigator on grants involving early clinical trials and colorectal cancer research, has conducted numerous phase I and II clinical trials, and has published more than 200 manuscripts. 

International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award   

Dr. Villarreal-Garza is a professor at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and the medical oncology director of the Breast Cancer Center of Hospital Zambrano Hellion TecSalud of Tecnologico de Monterrey. She founded and leads “Joven & Fuerte” (“Young & Strong”), the Mexican Young Breast Cancer Program. She is also co-founder of MILC, a non-government organization dedicated to improving medical and supportive care for patients with breast cancer in Mexico. She was awarded with the 2017 Premio Miguel Alemán Valdés en el Área de Salud, 2017 Premio Mujer Tec, 2013 Premio Bienial de FUNSALUD a la Investigación en Cáncer de Mama, 2014 Avon Foundation Global Breast Cancer Clinical Scholars Program, a 2010 ASCO Merit Award and a 2009 ASCO International Development and Education Award (IDEA). She has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is a member of the National System of Researchers. Her projects dedicated to improving the care and living conditions of patients with breast cancer in Mexico have received funding from Susan G. Komen, Avon Mexico, CIMAB and CONACYT, among others. Education and mentoring have been one of the most fulfilling aspects of her career. She has mentored medical school junior research fellows annually since 2013, and during the last 7 years has led the breast cancer fellowship program, the first of its kind in Mexico and one of two programs that currently exist in Latin America. She also serves as thesis director in the MSc and DSc programs of the School of Medicine of Tecnologico de Monterrey. Dr. Villarreal-Garza looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with students, physicians-in-training, and specialists for many more years to come. 

WWCC Mentorship Nominees

We celebrate the women who were nominated for the 2022 WWCC Mentorship Awards: 

Sushma Agrawal, MD     
Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (India) 

Lauren Averett Byers, MD     
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Kamila Czene, PhD     
Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) 

Lisa M. DeAngelis, MD      
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, FASTRO, FASCO     
University of Michigan 

Rosalyn Juergens, MD, PhD     
Juravinski Cancer Center (Canada) 

Tari A. King, MD, FACS, FASCO     
Brigham and Women's Hospital  

Harriet Kluger, MD     
Yale Cancer Center  

Marina Konopleva, MD, PhD     
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Supriya G. Mohile, MD, MS, FASCO     
University of Rochester 

Abby R. Rosenberg, MD, MS, MA     
Seattle Children's Hospital, University of Washington 

Carolyn D. Runowicz, MD, FASCO     
Florida International University 

Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD 
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center  

Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, FASCO     
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

Vered Stearns, MD, FASCO     
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University  

Jennifer Temel, MD     
Massachusetts General Hospital 

Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, MS      
Huntsman Cancer Institute 

Gerburg Wulf, MD, PhD      
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Camilla Zimmermann MD, PhD, FRCPC     
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Canada) 

2022 Award Support

The 2022 ASCO and Conquer Cancer WWCC Mentorship Awards are supported by:

Hologic, Inc - Hologic, Inc Endowed Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award

Eisai Inc., Novartis Oncology  - International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award. 

This list reflects donors as of March 28, 2022.