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ESMO Award


The esteemed ESMO Award was established in 1985 to recognise an ESMO member who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of medical oncology by promoting it as a specialty within the European and/or international community.

2021 – Lisa Licitra, Italy


The 2021 ESMO Award was presented to Prof. Lisa Licitra from the Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, and the University of Milan, Italy, for her outstanding contribution to advancing the understanding and treatment of head and neck cancer, and for motivating and mentoring medical oncologists worldwide.

In an interview published in the ESMO Daily Reporter she discusses her inspirations and explains how integration of different technologies is key to advancing research in today’s era of big data.

Previous recipients of the ESMO Award:

  • Hans-Joachim Schmoll, Germany (2020)
  • Eric Van Cutsem, Belgium (2019)
  • Jean-Charles Soria, USA (2018)
  • Miguel Martin, Spain (2017)
  • Alberto Sobrero, Italy (2016)
  • Nathan Cherny, Israel (2015)
  • Carsten Bokemeyer, Germany (2014)
  • Cora Sternberg, Italy (2013)
  • Ian Tannock, Canada (2012)
  • Johann de Bono, United Kingdom (2011)
  • Alberto Costa, Italy (2010)
  • E.G. Elisabeth de Vries, The Netherlands (2009)
  • Jean-Pierre Armand, France (2008)
  • Jan B. Vermorken, Belgium (2007)
  • David J. Kerr, United Kingdom (2006)
  • José Baselga, Spain (2005)
  • Allan T. van Oosterom, Belgium (2004)
  • Maurice Schneider, France (2002)
  • Robert Souhami, United Kingdom (2000)
  • D. J. Theo Wagener, The Netherlands (1998)
  • Martine Piccart, Belgium (1997)
  • Stanley B. Kaye, United Kingdom (1995)
  • Pierre Alberto, Switzerland (1993)
  • Franco Cavalli, Switzerland (1991)
  • Gianni Bonadonna, Italy (1989)
  • Heine H. Hansen, Denmark (1987)
  • Herbert Michael Pinedo, The Netherlands (1985)

Nomination and selection process

Nominations may be made by any ESMO member (except undergraduate medical or science student members). Candidates may not nominate themselves.

Candidate eligibility criteria

  • Be an individual (institutions and organisations are not eligible) who has contributed continuously by outstanding scientific contributions to the development of understanding malignancies and/or their treatment
  • Be an ESMO member
  • Be an oncology professional, medical or clinical oncologist
  • Have not previously received the ESMO Award
  • Not be a current or recent (last two years) member of either the ESMO Executive BoardESMO Council or the ESMO Nomination Committee

Final selection is made by the Selection Committee: ESMO President, ESMO President-Elect, ESMO Past-President, Chair of the ESMO Nomination Committee.

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