ESMO Women for Oncology Award

The ESMO Women for Oncology Award recognises an ESMO member who has significantly contributed to supporting the career development of women in oncology. This important award acknowledges someone who has actively worked to sensitise organisations to perceive the female oncology workforce as a valuable resource

2018 – Margaret Foti, USA 

The ESMO Women for Oncology Award was presented to Margaret Foti during the Opening Session of the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich on Friday, 19 October 2018. View ESMO Women for Oncology Award lecture.

Foti is Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and one of the most influential voices in advancing the field of cancer research, both in the US and beyond. Previous roles include being president of three professional societies in scholarly publishing and in cancer research. There is a legacy of young women, minority scientists and investigators-in-training whose careers have been advanced as a result of her mentorship and support.

Foti co-founded Women in Cancer Research (WICR), an AACR membership group committed to recognising women’s scientific achievements and fostering their career development and advancement in cancer research. She currently sits on the WICR Council, an advisory body to the AACR leadership on issues of concern to women investigators.


It is very rewarding for me to be recognised with this wonderful award as I have strived throughout my career to serve as a mentor to women in the cancer field. The professional success of female scientists and physicians is essential for rapid progress in cancer research, biomedical science, patient care and public health.  The AACR and I are very committed to continuing to enhance the status of women in oncology, to increase their professional opportunities, and to offer mentorship and support. If we are to significantly reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality around the world, we must facilitate and encourage the vital contributions and the leadership of women in oncology

Margaret Foti, 2018 ESMO Women for Oncology Award winner

On behalf of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee, Chair Evandro de Azambuja said: “Foti has clearly invested in female oncologists and researchers by fostering their careers and ensuring that they do have similar opportunities to their male counterparts. She also has been an inspiration to many young oncologists.”

Past ESMO Women for Oncology Awards winners

  • 2017 - Frances Shepherd, Canada
  • 2016 - Sumitra Thongprasert, Thailand
  • 2015 - Enriqueta Felip, Spain