Director Stephen Hursting (l) with graduate student William Pressell

Stephen D. Hursting, PhD, MPH, Director of the Nutrition Research Institute and Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, was awarded the American Institute for Cancer Research’s (AICR) Distinguished Service Award on November 2 at the 2022 AICR Scientific Conference in Leesburg, VA.

The award recognizes professionals for outstanding contributions to research and/or education related to nutrition, physical activity, and weight management in the field of cancer, as well as extraordinary leadership, commitment and service to AICR.

As the AICR/WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund) Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Cancer at UNC-Chapel Hill, Hursting has championed a mechanistic and translational perspective of AICR’s work on the links between diet, physical activity and cancer. Moreover, as the director of the Marilyn Gentry Fellows Program* at UNC, Hursting has mentored and guided many students and fellows to a successful launch in this field.

Deirdre McGinley-Gieser, AICR’s executive vice president, said the institute is delighted to recognize Hursting’s exceptional contribution to the field.

“Dr. Hursting’s success in achieving continuous and robust funding for his work has supported the growth in knowledge in many areas, including the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying obesity-cancer associations and the impact of obesity, energy balance modulation or pharmacologic agents targeting metabolic processes on cancer development, to name just two,” stated McGinley-Gieser.

In his award address to the conference, Hursting said the AICR “has been a major part of his life and career for 30 years, and he is grateful for the collaborations and friendships that have developed through his participation in the AICR Scientific Conferences, grant program and the AICR/WCRF Expert Panel process.”  He also acknowledged his colleagues at UNC, whose “tools and talents are contributing to the best work of my career” and expressed appreciation to his wife, who was in the audience, as “his most important and fun collaborator for 37 years.”

Hursting is an international leader in nutrition, obesity, metabolism, and cancer research. He has published 250-plus papers and been cited nearly 20,000 times.

*The American Institute for Cancer Research’s Marilyn Gentry Fellowship is a research program that supports emerging leaders in the field of diet, nutrition and cancer.