Matthijs Oudkerk, M.D., Ph.D., to be honored with the James L. Mulshine, M.D., International Leadership Award for instrumental role ensuring global acceptance of lung cancer screening


Kyra Meister

Alexandria, Va. – Kicking off Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Prevent Cancer Foundation will honor Professor Matthijs Oudkerk with the James L. Mulshine, M.D., International Leadership Award on Thursday, November 2 at the 20th annual Quantitative Imaging Workshop. The annual Mulshine Leadership Award is given to someone who has had a profound impact on reducing the toll of lung cancer, COPD and cardiovascular disease on the health of Americans and people around the world.

As a co-principal investigator of the NELSON randomized screening trial, Professor Oudkerk was influential in the global scaling of lung cancer screening. The NELSON trial successfully demonstrated the mortality benefit of lung cancer screening for people at high risk in Europe and led to 27 nations recognizing the value of lung cancer screening. These counties have a total population of 750 million people. Those eligible for lung cancer screening will be smokers or former smokers with significant tobacco-exposure (>20 pack years) after they reach age 50. As countries continue work to implement lung cancer screening for those at high risk across Europe, more cancers will be found at earlier, more treatable stages in addition to fewer numbers of people who die from the disease.

“The Foundation is honored to recognize Professor Oudkerk as we celebrate two decades of the Quantitative Imaging Workshop,” said Prevent Cancer Foundation Founder Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé. “What makes Professor Oudkerk’s accomplishments so exceptional is his unwavering commitment to implementing equitable lung cancer screening services not only across Europe, but around the world. His work has saved and will continue to save countless lives by helping people detect lung cancer early, which leads to better outcomes.”

Professor Oudkerk is currently professor and chair of radiology and the chief medical scientific director of the Center for Medical Imaging at the University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands. He is also the founder and past president of the European Society of Cardiac Radiology and former chairman of radiology departments of DDHK Erasmus MC Rotterdam and University Medical Center Groningen. In 2019, he was ranked as one of the most influential researchers in radiology in Europe.

Past recipients of the award include:

  • 2022 – Andrea B. McKee, M.D. and the late Brady J. McKee, M.D. for their contributions to ensuring community hospitals and cancer centers provide equitable access to the highest quality screenings and their instrumental involvement in developing the LungRADS system. 
  • 2021 – Mary Pasquinelli, DNP, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, Advanced Practice Nurse, Pulmonary and Medical Oncology, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System for her efforts to ensure that she and the team she leads were able to bring a new service to a community that represents a critical challenge from both a health and equity perspective.  
  • 2020 – Daniel C. Sullivan, M.D. for his work in founding and chairing the Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA). QIBA is committed to transforming patient care by making radiology a more quantitative science.  
  • 2019 – Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Former Director, National Cancer Institute, for his design, implementation and management of the largest and most expensive clinical trial in its history, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST).  
  • 2018 – Sharon Y. Eubanks, U.S. Department of Justice, for her work as the lead Justice Department prosecutor in the landmark racketeering trial against Big Tobacco, a case which defied predictions and was won by the government.  
  • 2017 – The late John Walsh, President and CEO of the COPD Foundation and President and Founder of the Alpha One Foundation.  
  • 2016 – Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of the Lung Cancer Alliance, for her efforts to guide patient advocacy groups in successful efforts to gain coverage of lung cancer screening by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  
  • 2015 – Claudia Henschke, Ph.D., M.D., Mt. Sinai Medical Center, as a pioneer of the use of low-dose spiral CT to screen for lung cancer.  
  • 2014 – CVS Health, award accepted by Nancy Gagliano, M.D., CVS Chief Medical Officer, in recognition of the company’s bold decision to discontinue the sale of tobacco products in their stores. 
  • 2013 (Inaugural year of the Award) – Cheryl G. Healton, Ph.D., President and CEO, Legacy Foundation and Dean of the College of Public Health at New York University, in recognition of over 25 years of tireless work in public health, specifically on tobacco control.

The 20th annual Quantitative Imaging Workshop will explore how to responsibly integrate the medical information available from annual chest CT screening to directly guide management of an eligible screening participant for three of the most lethal tobacco-related diseases with the goal to markedly improve overall health outcomes.

The Workshop will take place November 2-3 as a virtual event, with the award ceremony happening on November 2 at 10:30 am ET. For more information about the Quantitative Imaging Workshop and the award, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s website. 


About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S.-based nonprofit organization solely dedicated to cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated. We are driven by a vision of a world where cancer is preventable, detectable and beatable for all.

The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.

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