January 8, 2021:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) honored Indiana University and Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD, director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, with two new awards during the Big Ten CRC Virtual Summit, hosted by the Cancer Center at Illinois, on Friday, January 8.

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Institutional Leadership Award is a new award that will be presented annually to the member institution that provides the greatest overall contribution to the success of the Big Ten CRC. The award is given to the institution that led all member institutions in combined Clinical Trial Working Group participation and patient enrollment on Big Ten CRC clinical trials during the past year.

“Under the leadership of Pat Loehrer and his team, the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center has championed one of the main goals of every cancer center — applying cancer research to patients as rapidly as possible,” said Howard Bailey, MD, director of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, and chair of the Big Ten CRC Cancer Center Directors. “Their leadership and contributions to the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium are a key aspect of our current success.”

The second award is the Pat Loehrer Award for Exemplary Collaboration in Cancer Research, which will be presented annually to an individual researcher who best demonstrates collaboration within the Big Ten CRC, as determined by Big Ten CRC leaders. Dr. Loehrer, whose vision and leadership were key in the Big Ten CRC’s establishment and continued growth, was chosen for the inaugural award named in his honor.

“Without Pat, it is unlikely we would have a Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium,” said George Weiner, MD, director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair of the Big Ten CRC Foundation. “His reputation as a superb clinical investigator, dedicated physician, mentor, exemplary cancer center director, and most importantly, thoughtful collaborator and friend, was key to generating enthusiasm among his fellow cancer center directors for the concept of the consortium.”

Dr. Weiner said Dr. Loehrer’s contributions after the formation of the Big Ten CRC was equally significant, moving the consortium from a vision to a collaborative group of institutions, driven to develop early phase investigator-initiated cancer research within Big Ten universities, while providing early-career investigators with opportunities for mentorship.

“It is entirely fitting that we are naming the consortium’s new award for ‘exemplary collaboration in cancer research’ after Pat and that he is the first recipient of this award,” Dr. Weiner said.

Recognized as a prolific clinical researcher, Dr. Loehrer is a specialist in a variety of cancers, including cancers of the testis, bladder, colon, pancreas and, most notably, the thymus gland. His work has led to the approval of ifosfamide for the treatment of testicular cancer, and he helped develop therapies for the treatment of several malignancies, including thymoma and cancer of the bladder, colon and pancreas.

His research related to thymic cancer has been recognized with the Exceptional Service Award of the Foundation for Thymic Research. He is a founder of the Hoosier Cancer Research Network (formerly known as the Hoosier Oncology Group) and served as its chairman for two decades. He has also served as chairman of the Genitourinary Committee for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and served as the director of the gastrointestinal research program at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

He is the recipient of many honors. In 2020, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor that Indiana’s governor can bestow upon a civilian. He also received the President’s Medal for Excellence, the highest honor an IU president can bestow, in recognition of his exceptional service to Indiana University.

In 2017, Dr. Loehrer was named the inaugural Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award recipient by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for his extraordinary leadership. He also has received the Flick Family Fund Award, the American Cancer Society Fellowship, the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Glenn Irwin Experience Excellence Award, the ECOG Young Investigator Award, the Danielson Award, the Collaborator of the Year Award from the Walther Cancer Institute, and the W. George Pinnell Award. In 2010, he received the Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

The Big Ten CRC Virtual Summit is the consortium’s fifth annual summit. The event is an opportunity for Big Ten investigators and industry representatives to discuss current and potential collaborations as well as share successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Highlights of this year’s summit include the sessions “Big Ten CRC Population Science: Research Potential and Concepts,” “The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium,” and “Five-Year Perspectives on Big Ten CRC Clinical Trials.” See full agenda.


About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.