We are proud to honor distinguished CGA-IGC members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of hereditary GI cancers and our society.
The Distinguished Mentor Award was created in 2022 in honor of Albert de la Chapelle, MD PhD, a pioneering geneticist. In addition to his landmark work in the understanding of Lynch Syndrome, he was well known for his kindness and generosity in mentoring future generations of clinicians, researchers, and humanists.
The Outstanding Service Award was created in 2021 in honor of Dennis J. Ahnen, MD, who was a tireless and selfless champion in colorectal cancer prevention and advancing care of patients with hereditary gastrointestinal syndromes. He was a devoted member of CGA-IGC and made many contributions to the organization, including his efforts as part of the Collaborative Fund and the Education Committee. This award honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the society’s health and welfare.
In collaboration with the Colon Cancer Foundation, CGA-IGC offers a travel grant to a trainee or junior faculty member to recognize excellence in translational research focused on the molecular biology of colon cancer. This award is in honor of Thomas K. Weber, MD FACS, who was a champion in fighting colorectal cancer, a leader within both CCF and CGA, a mentor to countless early career researchers, and above all, a beloved friend.
CGA-IGC Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Carol Burke was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 for her profound impact on the field of polyposis, her transformative leadership in the field, and her indelible impact on generations of mentees. Please join us at the Annual Meeting in Nashville to congratulate her in person.
Carol A. Burke, MD, is the Vice Chair of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Head of Polyposis at the Sanford R. Weiss MD Center for Hereditary Colorectal Neoplasia at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Burke underwent her gastroenterology training at The Cleveland Clinic and joined the staff in 1993. Her research and clinical interests include cancer and polyps prevention in the inherited colorectal cancer syndromes and the sporadic patient population.
Albert de la Chapelle Distinguished Mentor Award
We are delighted to present this award to Professor Heather Hampel as the inaugural recipient of this award. In addition to sharing a special bond with Dr. de la Chapelle, she has mentored countless individuals internationally, many of whom have not only become excellent clinicians and researchers, but also leaders in professional organizations such as CGA.
Heather Hampel is a Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research and Associate Director of the Division of Cancer Genomics at City of Hope National Cancer Center. Her research focuses on Lynch syndrome and universal tumor screening for Lynch syndrome. She has >170 publications on the prevalence of Lynch syndrome among colorectal and endometrial cancer patients, the best testing protocols, cost-effectiveness, and referral guidelines for cancer genetics. She was on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Genetic Counseling from 2006-2011, serving as President in 2009 and 2010. She has been on the Steering Committee of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable since 2016. She was on the Council of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer from 2016-2019, serving as president in 2017-2018. She is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
Dennis J. Ahnen Outstanding Service Award
There is no one more fitting to receive this award than Brandie Heald Leach. Her leadership and service within CGA are unparalleled. She was the Chair of the Abstract Review Committee from 2013-2021. In this role, she foundationally shaped the research program at the annual meeting, such that CGA is now recognized as a premiere international forum for Hereditary GI Cancer Research. In addition, she served on the Executive Council from 2011-2017 and was the first Genetic Counselor to serve as President of the organization in 2016. Her legacy of selfless and servant leadership has shaped the rigor of research presented at the CGA-IGC meeting and has profoundly strengthened the society.
Brandie Heald Leach, MS, is a licensed genetic counselor and clinical professor of medicine. She started practicing at Cleveland Clinic in 2006 upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling where she counseled patients with or at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes, with a particular interest in hereditary colorectal cancer conditions. In 2007 she established genetic counseling services within the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. She coordinated the Cleveland Clinic Universal Lynch Syndrome Screening Program and conducted research on the hamartomatous polyposis syndromes and genetic counseling practice models. She has served in various leadership positions within the National Society of Genetic Counselors, was on the board for Hereditary Colon Cancer Takes Guts, and is a past president of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer Council. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Lynch Syndrome Screening Network and is the first genetic counselor to join the International Society of Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumors Council. In August 2021 she started working as a clinical program manager in oncology at Invitae.
Thomas K. Weber Research Scholar Award
We are excited to announce this year’s recipient, Dr. Alessandro Mannucci, who will present a project entitled “Lynch Syndrome is Associated with Fecal and Salivary Dysbiosis.”
Alessandro Mannucci is a medical resident in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal endoscopy at San Raffaele Hospital (Milan, Italy). Under mentorship from Prof Giulia Martina Cavestro, he has developed an interest in the study and management of gastrointestinal cancers. His work focuses on early onset colorectal cancer, familial pancreatic cancer, and Lynch syndrome.