Cancer researcher honored for work advancing immunotherapy

Dr. Antoni Ribas

The Cancer Research Institute has awarded Dr. Antoni Ribas, director of the tumor immunology program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, with the 2019 William B. Coley Award for his distinguished research in basic and tumor immunology.

The Coley Award, named after the “Father of Cancer Immunotherapy,” is one of the non-profit’s highest scientific and philanthropic awards and recognizes scientist for seminal discoveries in the fields of basic immunology and tumor immunology.

Ribas, professor of medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was honored for leading the clinical program that demonstrated the effectiveness of checkpoint inhibitors, his complementary research that has defined mechanisms and identified biomarkers of response and acquired resistance to PD-1 blockade therapies, and for his development of stem cell-based adoptive cell therapies.

Ribas, who is also a member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA and serves as the director of the UCLA Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Center, was one of 10 scientists who were honored at the organization’s annual gala that took place this month in New York City.