Dynamic Duo: Cancer Researchers Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

As internationally renowned cancer researchers in the field of lipid biochemistry and the study of metabolomics, Yusuf A. Hannun, MD, and Lina Obeid, MD, have contributed individually and as a team to many novel discoveries. Their research has increased the understanding of the mechanism and regulatory strategies involved in lipid metabolism and its role in cancer development.

For this body of work, and specifically for the couple’s pioneering work on the role of ceramide and physiological and pathological processes, as well as defining the role of sphingolipids in aging, Drs. Hannun and Obeid were the first dual recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th International Conference on Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases on October 20 in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is also the first time that a woman has received this prestigious award. 

Partners in work and in life for more than three decades, both hold leadership roles at Stony Brook Medicine and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. Dr. Hannun is the Director of Stony Brook University Cancer Center, Vice Dean for Cancer Medicine, Joel Strum Kenny Professor in Cancer Research and a State of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor. Dr. Obeid, is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Dean of Research at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers for a lifetime of research,” said Dr. Hannun. “What still excites me about going to work in the morning are the collaborative opportunities with our talented research teams at the Cancer Center. We are all committed to furthering discoveries in cancer to benefit patients now and in the future.” 

Dr. Obeid has a long history of mentoring women in science and fostering their career development. She said that to be the first woman to receive this award has special significance. 

“My husband and I are very grateful to receive this award at this time in our careers,” said Dr. Obeid. “It’s so important for emerging scientists – especially for young women considering a career in the sciences – to know they can make a difference in the field of cancer research.”

Dr. Hannun also delivered the Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture to open the International Conference.