Roswell Park’s Dr. Igor Puzanov Honored for His Many Contributions to Melanoma Research

Foundation recognizes cancer immunotherapy expert for ‘outstanding and lifelong contributions’ to field
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
  • Dr. Igor Puzanov accepting the Melanoma Foundation Award from officials from the Fondazione Melanoma during a research conference in Italy. (Courtesy of OncoInfo)
    Dr. Igor Puzanov accepting the Melanoma Foundation Award from officials from the Fondazione Melanoma during a research conference in Italy. (Courtesy of OncoInfo)
Igor Puzanov, MD, receives Melanoma Foundation Award at conference in Italy
Dr. Puzanov was a keynote speaker at international conference in Naples
Has played key role in FDA approval of several breakthrough anti-cancer drugs

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Center’s Igor Puzanov, MD, MSci, FACP, was honored for his “outstanding and lifelong contributions to melanoma research” during the just-concluded Melanoma and Immunotherapy Bridge research meeting in Naples, Italy. Dr. Puzanov, who is Chief of Melanoma and Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program at Roswell Park, received the award from Italy’s Fondazione Melanoma, or Melanoma Foundation.

“Receiving the lifetime achievement award from the Melanoma Foundation is a dream to me,” Dr. Puzanov told OncoInfo, an Italian medical news outlet. “Knowing that my predecessors were all giants in the field of melanoma research and treatment, I am absolutely humbled and honored with this award, and I thank the foundation for it.”

Dr. Puzanov gave a keynote address, “Melanoma: The testing ground for immunotherapy,” during the meeting, and his Roswell Park colleagues Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, and Marc Ernstoff, MD, spoke, respectively, on reprogramming the tumor microenvironment and T cells for immunotherapy of ovarian cancer and the role of adrenergic stress in melanoma therapy.

“We were all so pleased to see Igor receive this prestigious and well-deserved honor,” says Dr. Odunsi, who is Roswell Park’s Deputy Director, Chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Center for Immunotherapy Executive Director. “Few physicians match the passion he throws into every aspect of his clinical and research activities, and his record of achievement is a testament to that energy.”

Dr. Puzanov joined Roswell in 2016. A graduate of the Third Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, he received his medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas and Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He played a key role in the development and FDA approval of several breakthrough anti-cancer drugs, including vemurafenib (Zelboraf), pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC/Imlygic). Dr. Puzanov has also contributed to pivotal articles in such journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, Nature, The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, JAMA and The Journal of Immunotherapy in Cancer. 

The Immunotherapy and Melanoma Bridge meeting is an annual research conference jointly coordinated by La Fondazione Melanoma, Associazione Italiana di Oncologia Medica (AIOM) and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).


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Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager