UICC is celebrating this year the 50th Birthday of its Fellowships programme.

Since its beginning in 1962 when UICC started administrating the American Cancer Society – Eleanor Roosevelt – International Cancer Fellowships, the initiative has grown significantly into a worldwide recognised programme currently including the prestigious ACSBI Fellowship funded by the American Cancer Society, and the YY Fellowship supported by the Japan National Committee and Kyowa as well as the very flexible and appreciated ICRETT Technology Transfer Fellowships and Workshops supported by eleven sponsors.  The Asia-Pacific Cancer Society Training Grant program (APCASOT) funded by the William Rudder memorial fund and administered by Cancer Council Queensland is also a UICC regional training opportunity. 

The initiative can proudly account for having supported over 6,000 researchers and cancer control professionals worldwide to date.

To celebrate these 50 years of achievements, UICC has gathered fellows, reviewers and sponsors during the World Cancer Congress in Montréal. Dr Joe Harford, from Global Health NCI, Dr David Ringer, National Vice President of Extramural Research at ACS, and Prof. Tetsuo Noda, President of the Japanese Cancer Association gave overviews on the various fellowships. Three fellows, Dr Rajesh Dikshit – Associate Professor, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India, winner of ACSBI, ICRETT, and ICRETT Workshop Awards, Prof. Olalekan A Ayo-Yusuf – Associate Professor, Head of Clinical Unit, Oral & Dental Hospital, University of Pretoria, South Africa, winner of ACSBI and ICRETT awards, and Dr Partha Basu, Head of Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, India winner of a Yamagiwa – Yoshida Memorial Grant, shared their stories with the assembly.

The goals of the fellowship programme not only include developing future leaders in cancer research around the world, but also facilitating a global effort in cancer prevention and control, as well as encouraging collaborative interactions to establish a network of researchers and scientists for rapid dissemination of new knowledge and technology.

Amongst the fellowships awarded, are two of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry winners; Dr Aaron Ciechanover, who had received an ACSBI fellowship in 1988 and Dr Avram Hershko, who had received both an ACSBI fellowship in 1996 and a UICC Yamagiwa-Yoshida Memorial Cancer Study Grant in 2000. Dr Harald Zur Hausen, the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine is also a fellowships applications reviewer since 1999.

These fellowships could not have maintained their constant level of quality without the invaluable contribution of the international panel of expert reviewers.

These volunteers, who are internationally recognised experts in their field of expertise, help to assess the relative merits of the many worthy applications for UICC Fellowships. Every year, close to 600 international experts voluntarily contribute their time to review applications. Home and host organisations also have an important role to play in supporting cancer control professionals and allowing for high quality transfers of skills and knowledge. These fellowships would not be possible either without the commitment of the sponsors, click here to learn more about them.