TGen Honors Exact Sciences Chairman and CEO, Kevin Conroy at Annual Founders Dinner.

John S. McCain Leadership Award recognizes those whose leadership and dedication advance cancer research and treatment in benefit of patients worldwide

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz (April 10, 2024) — Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), part of City of Hope, showcased its research and honored two leaders with awards at its 2024 Founders Dinner, an annual gathering held April 4 in Scottsdale.

The Founders Dinner unites and recognizes community supporters and leaders, while providing TGen the opportunity to present its scientific achievements of the past year. Now in its 22nd year, the event highlighted TGen’s most recent work and the contributions they are making nationally as part of the new model City of Hope is building.

Valley leader and noted philanthropist, Nancy Hanley Eriksson, received the first of the evening’s John S. McCain Leadership Awards in recognition of her advocacy for TGen’s and City of Hope’s research and clinical advances in pancreas cancer. 

Named after the late U.S. Sen. John S. McCain of Arizona, the annual award recognizes individuals or organizations whose leadership and dedication have made a significant impact in advancing biomedical research and patient care.

In presenting the award to Hanley Eriksson, TGen distinguished professor Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., said, “Nancy’s life-long commitment to Arizona is simply remarkable. I, personally, am humbled by all she has done in support of our work in pancreas cancer, as the lives she has touched and changed are innumerable. I can’t think of a more worthy recipient this award.”

Hanley Eriksson is well known throughout the Valley and Arizona. A native Phoenician, she has dedicated her life to serving others, epitomizing the true essence of a community leader in support of various charitable organizations throughout Phoenix and across Arizona for over four decades. 

At TGen, while her past giving has supported research in prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis and clinical trials at City of Hope, her primary focus has been pancreatic cancer research. She established the Lee T. Hanley Fund for Pancreatic Cancer, Team Lee in support of TGen’s Step N Out pancreatic cancer walk, and most recently the Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., Chair in Cancer Research established by the Hanley Family in memory of Lee T. Hanley. 

“I am humbled to receive the John S. McCain Award along with Mr. Kevin Conroy and so many other worthy recipients who came before us and it is with great pride that we as a family establish this Endowment,” said Hanley Eriksson.  “Lee’s enduring legacy has profound meaning in being associated with the highly esteemed Dr. Von Hoff. We are gratified to honor Lee’s memory and support TGen in its pursuit of attracting world-class talent in the field of pancreatic cancer research and clinical care.”

Also honored at the event with the night’s second John S. McCain Leadership Award was Exact Sciences chairman and CEO, Kevin Conroy.

“It’s fitting to recognize Kevin Conroy and Exact Sciences with the McCain award,” said TGen president and research director, Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D. “He very much exemplifies the relationship I had with Senator McCain in that like the Senator, he does the right thing for the right reason, a trait demonstrated by his commitment to advancing science and testing that brings direct benefit to patients in need.”

Exact Sciences is a global leader in developing diagnostic tests for various stages of early cancer detection and guidance of treatment that help patients and healthcare professionals make informed decisions sooner. They entered into a multi-year collaboration with TGen following their acquisition of TGen spin-out Ashion Analytics. 

“Thank you to TGen for this honor and special thanks to the Exact Sciences team members who work tirelessly to make our mission to help eradicate cancer by preventing it, detecting it earlier and guiding personalized treatment a reality,” said Conroy. “TGen and Exact Sciences share a passion for research and finding answers to some of the world’s toughest problems through precision medicine. We look forward to continued collaboration and innovation in the years ahead.”

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