To recognize scientists, journalists, and public servants for significant contributions to science and to the public’s understanding of science, the Association administers the awards listed below. All awards are presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting immediately following the award year.



Congratulations to the 2015 winner and honorable mentions!

The winner of the AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award for 2015 is Nicholas Navin, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Department of Bioinformatics at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The 2 honorable mentions are Agnel Sfeir from New York University School of Medicine and Nitzan Rosenfeld from Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and University of Cambridge.

Thanks to the 2015 judging panel: Silvio Gutkind from the National Institutes of Health, USA; Roman Thomas from the University of Cologne, Germany; Jean Paul Thiery from the National University of Singapore; Michele de Palma from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Prize

AAAS and Science Translational Medicine invite applications for the annual AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award. This award, funded by an endowment established through a generous bequest from Martin L. Wachtel, honors early-career investigators who have performed outstanding work in the field of cancer research. Entrants must have received their Ph.D. or M.D. within the last 10 years. The award winner is invited to deliver a public lecture on his or her research and receives an unrestricted cash award of $25,000. The award winning Essay is published as a Focus article in Science Translational Medicine.

Application Procedures


  • Each entrant must be a researcher in the field of cancer, with an advanced degree (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.) received within the last 10 years.
  • The research must have been performed during the previous 10 years.
  • The entrant must have performed or personally directed the work described in the Essay.
  • Employees of AAAS and their relatives are not eligible for the prize.
  • Applicants who did not win are welcome to reapply as long as they are otherwise eligible for the award. Previous winners and honorable mentions are not eligible to apply again.

Procedures for Entry

Entry packages must include the following materials, written in English:

  1. A letter of application written by the entrant or by a nominator describing the entrant's significant contributions to cancer research. The letter should explain how the candidate's research promises to make a lasting impact on the cancer field.
  2. An Essay written by the nominee describing his or her research project and explaining how it advances our understanding of cancer. The Essay must not exceed 1500 words (not including references) and should have a short title, a one-line abstract, no more than 10 references and one figure. The research described in the Essay must be in the field of cancer and the applicant must have performed or directed all of the work. The research must have been performed within the last 10 years.
  3. A one-page letter of recommendation from the entrant's postdoctoral advisor, supervisor, or other senior colleague who is familiar with the entrant's work.
  4. A copy of the entrant's curriculum vitae.
  5. Copies of two of the entrant's papers that are most relevant to the Essay.

Send all materials in the entry package in pdf format to Yevgeniya Nusinovich, cancer editor at Science Translational Medicine, at, with Wachtel Award Entry in the subject line. Please note: if your contact information changes after submission you must inform us at

The application season for the 2016 Wachtel Award will begin in the fall of 2015 and applications will be due in March 2016.

Criteria and Selection

The editors of Science Translational Medicine will be responsible for the initial evaluation of the Essays. Approximately the top 10 percent of the Essays will be forwarded to the judging panel. The judging panel is composed of prominent international researchers in the field of cancer. The applicants will be rated on two characteristics: scientific quality and significance of their research, and the clarity and style of the Essay.


Send inquiries by email to You may also direct questions to Yevgeniya Nusinovich at

2014 Prize Winners

The winners of the 2014 AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award were Li Ma, an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Jeffrey Tyner, an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University. 

2013 Prize Winner

The winner of the inaugural AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award in 2013 was Scott A. Tomlins, an Assistant Professor in the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The 3 honorable mentions were: Gregory Beatty, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Michele De Palma, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne; and Franziska Michor, Dana Farber Cancer Institute.