PHILADELPHIA – Anil K. Rustgi, MD, former employee and chief of Gastroenterology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is once again the recipient of a prestigious Research Professor Award from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

ACS Research Professor and Clinical Research Professor Awards are given to outstanding scientists and clinician-scientists who have made seminal contributions to their fields, are thought leaders in their fields, and have made outstanding efforts in terms of service and mentoring. 

The ACS Professorship is the most prestigious national award the organization gives. It comes with a grant of five years for Rustgi to continue to provide leadership in his research on the genetics and biology of gastrointestinal cancers, including those arising from the colon and pancreas. His group has provided innovative scientific contributions in the development of 3D culture systems, mouse models and bridging the preclinical arena to clinical domains. The Rustgi lab has long focused on how preneoplastic cells become neoplastic and the tumor microenvironment. With the ACS grant and other efforts, the lab is increasingly interested in GI cancer metastasis biology and avenues to target metastatic lesions in patients.

Rustgi is one of only 25 active ACS Research Professors in the country. He was first awarded an ACS professorship award in 2010. This is a one-time five year renewal.

“I am thrilled to be in such elite company,” said Rustgi of his selection. “An award of this magnitude will allow our programs to continue work toward better understanding and treating GI cancers, many of which are inflicted with impediments in early detection and effective therapies. In aggregate, GI cancers are the most common amongst solid malignancies in the United States and worldwide.”

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.

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