DiPersio, Schreiber to be honored by cancer group

​John DiPersio, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Robert Schreiber, PhD, director of the school’s Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, will be honored in April by the American Association for Cancer Research.


DiPersio will receive the cancer group’s 19th annual Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research. Schreiber will receive the second annual Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology.

The AACR will present the awards at its annual meeting April 5-9 in San Diego. As part of the honor, each researcher will give a lecture.

DiPersio will discuss graft-versus-host disease, which occurs when a bone marrow or stem cell recipient’s body rejects transplanted donor cells, and graft-versus-leukemia, which occurs when the donated cells are beneficial to the recipient.

Schreiber will discuss cancer immunoediting, a process he discovered in which the immune system protects against tumor development and shapes cancers that form.

DiPersio, who also is deputy director of Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine and the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine, is being recognized for his achievements in the experimental sequencing of cancer genomes, personalized medicine and stem cell transplantation. He is known internationally for this expertise in T-cell function, stem cell research and acute myelogenous leukemia.


Schreiber, who also is the Alumni Professor of Pathology and Immunology and a professor of molecular microbiology, is being recognized for his contributions to the field of cancer immunology, which have helped establish a clearer understanding of how cancer evades detection by the immune system.

DiPersio earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Williams College and a medical degree and doctorate in microbiology from the University of Rochester. After an internship and residency at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and his first faculty position at the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to the University of Rochester as the first director of its bone marrow transplant program.

In 1994, DiPersio came to Washington University School of Medicine to lead the bone marrow transplant division. At Siteman, DiPersio and other physicians have completed more than 5,000 bone marrow transplants in the past 20 years.

Schreiber received his doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed his postdoctoral training at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, Calif., where he served on the faculty before joining Washington University in 1985.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri, is ranked among the top cancer facilities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Comprising the cancer research, prevention and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine​, Siteman also is Missouri’s only member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.