Friends of IARC

The Agency has been a positive force in international public health for more than five decades, focusing on cancer research for cancer prevention. With the support of and in collaboration with this network of friends across the world, the Agency can continue to achieve even more at this critical time.


The Friends of IARC are our ambassadors, testifying to the work and values of the Agency and supporting us in reaching out to society and stakeholders, in order to reach our goal of reducing the global burden of cancer.

MEET OUR FRIENDS
  • HRH Princess Dina Mired
  • Sir George Alleyne
  • Dr Ala Alwan
  • Professor Ian Frazer
  • Dr Mary Gospodarowicz
  • Professor Norbert Ifrah
  • Dr Richard Klausner

IARC is the cancer community′s authoritative, independent reference and the ultimate custodian of the truth, in a world where truth is constantly compromised and traded for the profit of the few.


HRH Princess
Dina Mired

President-Elect of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Former Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (2002–2016)

Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan is currently the President-Elect of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). It is a testament to her outstanding leadership that she is the first Arab and non-medical professional to be elected to such a prestigious global post.

Previously, Princess Dina established and led all the core work of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation as Director General from 2002 until June 2016. She transformed the non-profit into an internationally known brand and leader not only in Jordan but also in the global movement for people affected by cancer. She also served as Honorary Chairperson of the Jordan Breast Cancer Program from its inception in 2006 until 2016.

In September 2011, Princess Dina delivered the keynote speech on behalf of all civil society at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases. She serves in a number of high-profile international roles, including as Honorary President of the Harvard University Global Task Force for Expanded Access to Cancer Control and Care in the Developing World. She has received many awards, including the IARC Medal of Honour in 2015. She was conferred the title of Honorary Doctor by Yerevan State Medical University, was chosen as Personality of the Year 2016 in the fight against breast cancer by Zahra Breast Cancer Association, and was selected as Female of the Year 2017, receiving the Golden Award for Excellence from the Arab Women′s Council.


I am pleased to be counted among the Friends of IARC. I have first-hand knowledge of the Agency′s tradition of excellent work in international public health with its focus on cancer research, without which there is no hope for prevention or even cure of cancer.


Sir George Alleyne

Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organization

Sir George Alleyne studied medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI), followed by postgraduate training in the United Kingdom and the USA. He was Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UWI before joining the staff of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 1981 as Chief of Research Promotion and Coordination. In 1983 he became Director of Health Programs Development, and in 1990 he became Assistant Director of PAHO. In 1995 Sir George began the first of his two terms as Director of PAHO, ending his second four-year term in 2003. In 2003 he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, a position he held until 2010. From 2003 until 2017 he was Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was Chancellor of UWI from 2003 until 2017, when he became an Emeritus Professor.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II made him Knight Bachelor in 1990 for his services to medicine. In 2001 Sir George was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a Caribbean national.


It has been an honour to work jointly with IARC during my WHO career. IARC′s global leadership in cancer control and its impressive technical and scientific input and products made a major contribution to the development of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2000, the Political Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on Noncommunicable Diseases, in 2011, and subsequent milestones in the global fight against cancer and other noncommunicable diseases.


Dr Ala Alwan

WHO Regional Director Emeritus

Dr Ala Alwan is Regional Director Emeritus of the World Health Organization (WHO). He is a Visiting Professor in Global Health at the University of Washington, an Honorary Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London, and an Honorary Professor of Global Health at the University of Oxford. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Dr Alwan held several senior leadership positions at WHO, including Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Assistant Director-General and Representative of the Director-General for Emergencies and Health Action in Crises, and Regional Director for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. Before joining WHO, he was a Professor of Medicine and Dean of Mustansiriya Medical School in Iraq. In 2003–2005, he was Minister of Health and Minister of Education of Iraq.

At WHO, Dr Alwan coordinated the development of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2000, and led the work of WHO and the United Nations (UN) in preparing for and organizing the first UN General Assembly high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases, held in 2011. Dr Alwan is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in London.


IARC is to be congratulated for its enduring efforts as an essential agency for global cancer control. Agency staff and collaborators provide not only reliable global cancer data, and information on hot cancer topics through the Monographs, but also great training opportunities for the next generation of cancer experts for developed countries and for developing nations.


Professor Ian Frazer

CEO and Director of Research at the Translational Research Institute, Australia

Professor Ian Frazer is a clinician scientist, trained as a clinical immunologist in Scotland. As a professor at the University of Queensland, he leads a research group working at the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia, on the immunobiology of epithelial cancers. He is recognized as co-inventor of the technology enabling the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer. Professor Frazer heads a biotechnology company, Admedus Vaccines, working on new vaccine technologies, and is a board member of several companies and not-for-profit organizations. He is the current president of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and a member of the Commonwealth Science Council, and was most recently appointed chair of the federal government′s Medical Research Future Fund.

Professor Frazer was recognized as Australian of the Year in 2006. He received the Prime Minister′s Prize for Science and the Balzan Prize, both in 2008, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2012. He was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen′s Birthday Honours list in 2013.


IARC provides unique leadership, evidence, and information that is of great value for anyone involved in cancer research and control.


Dr Mary Gospodarowicz

University Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada

Professor Mary Gospodarowicz is the Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University Health Network, the Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario, and past Chair of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, where she is a University Professor. She is the Associate Editor of Cancer Biology & Medicine and the Journal of Global Oncology.

Professor Gospodarowicz is a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists, and an honorary member of the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO), the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO), and the Scientific Association of Swiss Radiation Oncology (SASRO). She was the President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) from 2012 to 2014, and chairs the TNM Prognostic Factors Project at UICC. She has received the ASTRO Gold Medal, the American Radium Society Janeway Medal, the O. Harold Warwick Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2015.


As the president of the French Institut national du cancer, it is crucial for me, and the whole team I represent, to be active members of the IARC community, to combine our efforts towards our common goals: fighting cancer year after year, reducing the burden of cancer for all the different populations worldwide, and more than ever obtaining increasing results in the prevention of all cancers, to the benefit of all communities worldwide that IARC devotes its work to.


Professor Norbert Ifrah

President of the National Cancer Institute, France

Professor Norbert Ifrah is a haematologist who holds a university clinical appointment at the University of Angers in France. Professor Ifrah is the current President of the National Cancer Institute (INCa), France. He was previously Head of the Department of Blood Disorders, and then Head of the Medical Commission of the University Hospital Centre in Angers.

Professor Ifrah has also held numerous positions in societies and on boards of directors, including the League Against Cancer, the Cancer Group of the Hospital Federation of France, and the French College of Haematologists. He also served as Vice-President of the French Society of Haematology and as President of the Haematology and Cancer section of the National Council of Universities. Professor Ifrah is the author of more than 200 publications, mainly in the field of malignant haematology, acute leukaemias, and stem cell transplantation.





Dr Richard Klausner

Director of Juno Therapeutics, Director of GRAIL, Executive Chairman of Wisdo, Chairman of Mindstrong

Dr Richard Klausner is co-founder and Director of Juno Therapeutics, founder and Director of GRAIL, and Executive Chairman of Wisdo. He is the Chairman of Mindstrong. He currently chairs the Grand Challenges in Cancer programme of Cancer Research UK and serves on numerous advisory boards. He was appointed by Presidents Clinton and Bush as the eleventh Director of the United States National Cancer Institute, where he led the nation′s cancer programme. He was the Executive Director for Global Health of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Chief Strategy Advisor for USAID.

Dr Klausner is widely recognized for his work in cell and molecular biology, immunology, and human genetics. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr Klausner was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2000.

  • Dr Toshio Kuroki
  • Professor Sir David Lane
  • Dr Tomas Lindahl
  • Dr Judith Mackay
  • Sir Michael G. Marmot
  • Dr Nubia Muñoz
  • Dr Mark Palmer

During my stay at IARC, I learned a lot about the etiology of human cancer and the role of international collaboration. I hope the Agency will continue its great mission to conquer cancer.


Dr Toshio Kuroki

Senior Advisor at the Research Center for Science Systems, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Dr Toshio Kuroki is Academy Director of the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) and Senior Advisor at the Research Center for Science Systems of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He worked at IARC in the Unit of Carcinogenesis, in 1973 and in 1975–1978, first as a visiting fellow and then as a staff member.

Dr Kuroki is a well-known expert in molecular and cellular oncology. Previously he served as the President of Gifu University, and he is currently a Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University.





Professor Sir David Lane

Chief Scientist of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore

Professor Sir David Lane made the landmark discovery of the p53 cancer gene in 1979. He is currently the Chief Scientist of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, where his main role is to advise and engage in scientific development across the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) and the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) at the strategic level. He is also the Director of the p53 Laboratory. Sir David was the Chairman of BMRC from 2007 to 2009, involved in charting the strategic directions for all 14 BMRC research institutes, consortia, and centres in preparation for the next phase of Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative. He was previously the Director of the Cancer Research UK Cell Transformation Research Group and Professor of Oncology at the University of Dundee in Scotland. He had also held the positions of Chief Scientist with Cancer Research UK and Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute.

Sir David was knighted in 2000 for his contributions to cancer research and has received many awards, such as the Paul Ehrlich Prize in 1998, the Buchanan Medal in 2004, and the Royal Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a founder member of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Sir David was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2005.


The work of IARC to identify and evaluate mutagenic DNA damaging agents is essential.


Dr Tomas Lindahl

Emeritus Director of the Clare Hall Laboratories, Cancer Research UK, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2015

Dr Tomas Lindahl is a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar) for mechanistic studies of DNA repair. In the early 1980s, he left the University of Gothenburg to join the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (later Cancer Research UK), and he was the director of the organization′s Clare Hall Laboratories from 1986 to 2005. Dr Lindahl and his colleagues discovered multiple DNA excision repair enzymes, in both bacterial and mammalian cells. His findings ultimately proved critical to furthering scientists′ understanding of the role of mutagenesis in disease, particularly in cancer.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, the work of Dr Lindahl has been recognized with many other awards, including the Royal Society′s Royal Medal in 2007 and the Copley Medal in 2010. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1988 and is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


The work of IARC is invaluable – essential – in tackling the huge global cancer epidemic. IARC addresses all aspects of cancer, collecting and collating comparative data on prevention, genetics, treatment, and much more. I am particularly impressed with the focus in my own field of cancer prevention, especially tobacco control.


Dr Judith Mackay

Director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control

Dr Judith Mackay is a medical doctor. She has been based in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since 1967, and has worked in tobacco control since 1984. She is Senior Policy Advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), Senior Advisor to Vital Strategies/Bloomberg Initiative, and Director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control.

Dr Mackay has authored 12 highly influential health atlases, and she has received many international awards, including the WHO Commemorative Medal, the Time 100 Award, and the British Medical Journal Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 she received an honorary degree, Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa, from Hong Kong Shue Yan University. In 2016 she received an honorary degree, Doctor honoris causa, from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been named as one of the three most dangerous people in the world by the tobacco industry.


Health is a human right.


Sir Michael G. Marmot

Director of the University College London Institute of Health Equity (Marmot Institute), United Kingdom

Sir Michael Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for more than 35 years. He chaired the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which was set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005, and produced the report Closing the Gap in a Generation in 2008. He conducted a Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post-2010, which published the report Fair Society, Healthy Lives in 2010. He chaired the Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide in the WHO European Region, and the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team, and was a member of The Lancet–University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health. He is a principal investigator of the Whitehall II studies of health inequalities among British civil servants, and was a founder of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Sir Michael is currently the Director of the University College London Institute of Health Equity.

Sir Michael is a former president of the British Medical Association and the World Medical Association. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years, and in 2000 was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for his services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities. He won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology in 2004, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006, and won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008. He was awarded a Harvard Lown Professorship for 2014–2017. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from 18 universities. Sir Michael was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2014.





Dr Nubia Muñoz

Emeritus Professor at the National Cancer Institute of Colombia

Dr Nubia Muñoz began her career at the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia, where she earned her medical degree and Board of Pathology. She then received further training in pathology, virology, and epidemiology at the United States National Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins University. Her research first focused on gastric cancer, and in the 1970s this work brought her to IARC in Lyon, where she worked with Dr Calum Muir and Dr Nick Day, before becoming the head of her own research unit in the mid-1980s. Dr Muñoz worked at IARC for more than 30 years.

Dr Muñoz′s research was instrumental in demonstrating the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) as the central and necessary cause of cervical cancer and a contributing factor in other cancers, such as oropharyngeal cancer. She also made important contributions to understanding the causal role of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus in liver cancer and in elucidating the role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric cancer. During her field studies in more than 50 countries, she established a long-lasting global network of IARC collaborators. Dr Muñoz was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received many awards, including in 2008 the Richard Doll Prize in Epidemiology from the International Epidemiological Association, and in 2009 the Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research and the prestigious Gairdner Global Health Award. In 2010 France conferred on her the Chevalier de la Légion d′Honneur, and in 2011 she received the Cruz de Boyacá, the highest honour conferred by Colombia. Dr Muñoz was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2009.


It was a privilege to have chaired the Governing Council of IARC for four years. The work of the Agency is even more important now than when it was first established, and the continuing increase in the number of Participating States supporting the Agency demonstrates its global relevance and reach.


Dr Mark Palmer

Director of International Strategy, Medical Research Council, United Kingdom

Dr Mark Palmer is Director of International Strategy at the Medical Research Council (MRC). He has a degree in biochemistry from the University of Oxford, where he also completed his doctorate on the murine immune response to influenza. He has responsibility for MRC′s international policy and coordination of global health strategy.

Dr Palmer has served as Chairperson of the IARC Governing Council, Chair of the General Assembly of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Human Frontier Science Programme (HFSP), and Vice-President of the Korea–United Kingdom London Health Forum. He serves on the Governing Council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) and on the Board of ELIXIR. Dr Palmer is also the United Kingdom lead for Societal Challenge 1 (Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing) of the European Commission′s Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

  • Sir Richard Peto
  • Professor Pekka Puska
  • Professor Khee Chee Soo
  • Dr Harold Varmus
  • Professor Harald zur Hausen

IARC has done an enormous service over the decades in its descriptive statistics from different parts of the world.


Sir Richard Peto

Professor of medical statistics and epidemiology and co-director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit, University of Oxford

Sir Richard Peto is a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology and a co-director of the Clinical Trial Service Unit at the University of Oxford. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University and obtained his M.Sc. in statistics at the University of London.

Sir Richard′s work has included studies of the causes of cancer in general and of the effects of smoking in particular, and the establishment of large-scale randomized trials of the treatment of cancer and various other diseases. He has been instrumental in introducing combined “meta-analyses” of results from diverse studies. Sir Richard was knighted in 1999 for his services to epidemiology and cancer prevention. He devotes much of his energy to advising and providing information on “avoidable death”. His work continues to have a direct influence on public policy and adult mortality in many countries. Sir Richard was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 1995 and in 2008.


Cancer is one of the main diseases responsible for the global disease burden. As in general in public health, evidence-based prevention should be the key strategy, if possible. This calls for high-level research. IARC, under the auspices of the World Health Organization, is our forum for such high-level international cancer research. The track record of IARC in this is excellent.


Professor Pekka Puska

Member of Parliament, Finland

Professor Pekka Puska has served as a Member of Parliament in Finland since 2017, after a previous stint as a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 1991. Professor Puska was Director General of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland, from 2009 to 2013, and before that was Director of the National Public Health Institute of Finland (2003–2009). Professor Puska worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva as Director for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Health Promotion from 2001 to 2003.

From 1972 until 1997, Professor Puska was the Director and Principal Investigator of the North Karelia Project, a public health project targeting noncommunicable diseases – particularly cardiovascular disease – in Finland. During his 25-year tenure, premature mortality from heart disease among the working-age population in Finland declined by 80%, and many in the international community cite the project as the model for successful population-based prevention of cardiovascular disease. Professor Puska holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kuopio and an M.D. and Master of Political Science from the University of Turku. He is past president of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) and of the World Heart Federation. He served on the IARC Governing Council from 2004 to 2013, and he was its chair from 2011 to 2013.





Professor Khee Chee Soo

Director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Senior Vice Dean of Clinical, Academic and Faculty Affairs at Duke-NUS Medical School

Professor Khee Chee Soo is a surgical oncologist. As the Director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore, he provides strategic leadership to more than 500 staff members engaged in clinical care and research. In addition, Professor Soo holds the position of Vice Dean of Clinical and Faculty Affairs at Duke-NUS Medical School, among many others.

Professor Soo received the Outstanding Teachers' Award in 1996 and the Best Teacher (Undergraduate) Award in 2001. In 2003, he was awarded the National Day Award Public Administration Medal (Gold) for his contribution to Singapore. In 2008, he was awarded the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award, an inaugural National Medical Excellence Award conferred by the Ministry of Health, and in 2011, he was awarded the President's Science and Technology Medal in recognition of his contributions to Singapore's clinical service and health care landscape. He is currently the Benjamin Sheares Professor of Academic Medicine at Duke-NUS Medical School.





Dr Harold Varmus

Lewis Thomas University Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 1989

Dr Harold Varmus, M.D., joined the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine as the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine in 2015. Previously, Dr Varmus was the Director of the United States National Cancer Institute for five years. He was Director of the National Institutes of Health for six years and President of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for 10 years. Dr Varmus is a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer.

A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University in English literature and Columbia University in medicine, Dr Varmus trained at Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He was a member of the UCSF basic science faculty for more than two decades. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries. Dr Varmus was a co-chair of President Obama′s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health. Dr Varmus was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2013.





Professor Harald zur Hausen

Virologist and Emeritus Professor at the German Cancer Research Center, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2008

Professor Harald zur Hausen is a virologist who graduated from the University of Düsseldorf, where he was a research fellow. He continued in that capacity at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and he then worked in the virology departments of several German universities. In 1983, he was appointed scientific director and chairman of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, where he became Emeritus Professor in 2003. Since then he has continued to work at the DKFZ and currently heads a research group there.

Professor zur Hausen's specific field of research is the study of oncoviruses. Together with his team, he made a major breakthrough in the early 1980s by isolating human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and HPV 18 as the virus types responsible for cervical cancer. Professor zur Hausen is a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (shared with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier). He received the Gairdner Foundation International Award in 2008 for his contributions to medical science. Professor zur Hausen was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2009.