For Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection

About the Award

The Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection recognizes a sustained contribution to, or singular achievement in, the cancer early detection field. The award is named in honor of Don Listwin, founder and chairman of Canary Foundation.

Eligibility and Selection Process:

  • Nominations open to any individual or team of individuals who has contributed to the field of cancer early detection either through an outstanding sustained commitment or a singular achievement.
  • All nominations will be kept for three years.
  • Decision to be made by awards committee will consist of the scientific organizers of the annual early detection of cancer conference and an additional representative from each organizing institution.
  • The main criteria for judging nominations is impact on the cancer early detection field.  This impact may be scientific, translational, advocacy, or other.
Make a Nomination


Peter Sasieni

The 2023 Award goes to: Peter Sasieni, PhD, Queen Mary University of London

Peter Sasieni, Ph.D., professor of cancer epidemiology in the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University of London, was honored with the 2023 Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection. Sasieni is academic director of the Kings Clinical Trials Unit at King’s College London. His career in cervical cancer prevention started with his first post-doctoral position at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, looking at ways to optimize cervical cancer screening. He then looked at the potential for HPV testing to improve cervical cancer screening, followed by researching HPV vaccination as a means of cervical cancer prevention. The first HPV vaccinations were administered in 2006, and Sasieni was the lead author of the 2021 paper showing that the implementation of HPV vaccination has led to a dramatic reduction in cervical cancer incidence.



The 2022 Award goes to: Sudhir Srivastava, Ph.D., MPH, MS

Dr. Srivastava is Senior Scientific Officer and Chief of the Cancer Biomarkers Research Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is well-known for having established a number of transformative programs on translational research on cancer screening, early detection, risk assessment and enabling technologies including artificial intelligence with a network of leading experts in medicine, science, computational biology that has advanced scientific discoveries and revolutionized diagnostics in cancer early detection. In 2000, Dr. Srivastava developed and implemented a novel approach to collaborative clinical research on cancer biomarkers through the establishment of the Early Detection Research Network, a flagship program at the NCI that has begun translating biomarkers into clinical tests (> 8 FDA approved and > 19 CLIA certified) for early detection. This network has been a pioneer in applying innovative technologies in the validation of cancer biomarkers as well as in the development of a national informatics infrastructure to support the research.

He also developed a number of strategic programs that promotes the convergence of interdisciplinary approaches from physics, biology, chemistry, and engineering emphasizing seamless integration of these disciplines into innovations, team science and translation from the bench to the bedside. These include EDRN, the Alliance of Glycobiologists, the Liver Cancer Consortium, the Liquid Biology Consortium, the Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection Consortium, the Cancer Imaging and Biomarkers Program, and the PreCancer Atlas. His conceptualization and implementation of the EDRN informatics infrastructure, in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has become a model for similar collaboration established at the NIH. He is respected as an early adapter of emerging technologies, in particular, artificial intelligence initiatives he launched in 1994, before the science became omnipresence in the life sciences and a vital approach in today’s world of enhancing human capabilities. He has successfully developed partnerships on shared interests with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, DOD’s Center for Prostate Disease Research, DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, he has developed collaborations with international and non-profit foundations, such as Japan’s Agency for Medical Development and Research, Cancer Research-UK, the China Cancer Institute/Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and U.S. organization such as Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Lustgarten Foundation, and Kenner’s Family Research Foundation.

In recognition of his leadership in cancer diagnostics, Dr. Srivastava was featured in Wired magazine in August 2003, and more recently, has been awarded a Distinguished Public Service Award (2016) by the American Pancreatology Association, a Distinguished Clinical and Translational Proteomics Award (2017) by HUPO International, and the Distinguished NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) Alumni Award (2016).

Rebecca Fitzgerald

The 2021 Award goes to: Rebecca Fitzgerald MD FMedSci, MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge

We are honoured to award this year’s Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection to Rebecca Fitzgerald MD FMedSci, MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge and an internationally recognized pioneer for her exceptional research into the prevention and detection of oesophageal cancers.

This award is given to recognise and thank Rebecca for the work she has done to develop, grow and establish the research needed to detect cancer early.

She is the Interim Director of the MRC Cancer Unit, Hutchison-MRC Research Centre, Professor of Cancer Prevention, and Clinician Scientist leading research in the Early Detection of Cancer for the University of Cambridge and the CRUK Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED). Rebecca is known for the development of the Cytosponge technology, a sponge on a string that patients can swallow instead of undergoing an endoscopy. The Cytosponge collects cells from the oesophagus for staining, which can flag the presence of TFF3-positive cells indicative of Barrett’s oesophagus, a precursor to oesophageal cancer. Recently Rebecca and her team published work demonstrating that Cytosponge increases the identification of Barrett’s in individuals with frequent heart-burn symptoms by 10-fold compared to standard of care. The building of evidence for its clinical implementation for surveillance of high-risk individuals and in endoscopy sparing due to COVID-19 related pressures on health systems continues to make a vital impact to patients’ lives and is internationally recognised for its contribution towards breaking barriers in research.

Recognised by colleagues far and wide, her commitment to improving the wider research environment by enabling global research capabilities in oesophageal cancers and developing the research base in early detection through fostering collaborations are just a few of the reasons why we’re lucky to have her within the early detection community.

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir

The 2020 Award goes to: Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, Canary Center at Stanford

We are honoured to posthumously award this year’s Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection to Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Radiology at the Stanford School of Medicine and an internationally recognized pioneer in molecular imaging. This award is given in great respect to recognise and thank Dr. Gambhir for the work he did to develop, grow and establish the research community needed to detect cancer early. He remained a tireless advocate to this cause until his death on July 18, 2020. He was Director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, Director of the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center, and Director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. Within the field of radiology, Gambhir was known for the development of positron emission tomography reporter genes, which can flag molecular activity that signals something’s gone awry in the body. To colleagues far and wide, he was known as a leader and scientist with sprawling expertise and a work ethic to aspire to. More than that, colleagues said he was a kind and generous friend, a nurturing mentor and a catalyst for collaboration. Dr. Gambhir dedicated his career to developing methods of early disease detection, ushering in a new era of molecular imaging to flag signals of disease in its nascent stages. Dr. Gambhir brought together collaborators in achieving the same goal, and we thank him for helping the partnership between Cancer Research UK, OHSU and Canary Centre at Stanford grow.

The 2019 Award goes to: Don Listwin, Canary Foundation

Mr. Don Listwin is the inaugural recipient of the Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to early cancer detection. In the early 2000’s Don’s mother was misdiagnosed with a bladder infection which turned out to be ovarian cancer. Following her death, Listwin became personally involved in cancer early detection. He has worked tirelessly to provide resources for research and to raise awareness of the field. He has contributed to fuel research at numerous research institutions through the Canary Foundation and ignited interest in cancer early detection. He formed teams of researchers from various disciplines to tackle the most difficult problems in cancer research – detecting cancer at an early and more treatable stage. In 2009 he partnered with Stanford to establish the Canary Center at Stanford – the first center in the world dedicated to cancer early detection. Listwin has been a persistent advocate for the field and has helped propel research forward. Please join us in congratulating Don on this achievement and adding his name to this new award to honor members of the cancer early detection community.