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American Cancer Society-Jiler Professors & Fellows Conference

This conference boosts today’s ACS-funded early-career cancer researchers to be tomorrow’s leaders in cancer research. 

Watch the video to feel the energy, witness the impact of the Jiler Conference.

About the Conference 

The unique and exclusive ACS-Jiler Professors and Fellows Conference brings together ACS-funded postdoctoral fellowsClinician-Scientist Development Grant recipients, and ACS Professors

Our goals are to leverage the ACS ecosystem to showcase innovative cancer research, foster collaborations, and advance careers, all with the intent to end cancer as we know it, for everyone."

Bill Dahut, MD

Chief Scientific Officer, Discovery Science

American Cancer Society

Bill Dahut

American Cancer Society (ACS) Research Professors are an essential part of our ecosystem and specifically at the Jiler Conference. These seasoned mentors, who have already influenced many of today’s leaders in cancer research, attend the ACS-Jiler Conference to help train the next generation of ACS-supported cancer leaders. Through formal presentations and informal gatherings, they share their expertise, experiences, and wisdom in science, mentoring, and leadership in the advancement of cancer research.

Who Are ACS Professors?

ACS Professors are cancer leaders from across the country who have made seminal contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research, cancer care, or both. They are leaders at cancer centers and in academia, founders of companies, and recipients of prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize.

ACS Professors are the ACS's most prestigious research grants. The title can be used throughout the scientist's career, or as we say: “Once an ACS Professor, always an ACS Professor.”

The 2022 ACS-Jiler Conference in Dallas

About 80 ACS-funded postdoc and clinician scientist grantees and 23 ACS research professors attended the Fall 2022 conference with the theme “Trends in Cancer Discovery and Translational Research.” Scientific sessions were selected to showcase the ACS Extramural Discovery Science's diverse and innovative research portfolio and were considered highly engaging.

  • Precision oncology
  • Personalized interventions in cancer care
  • Cancer evolution
  • Cancer epigenome and RNA regulation
  • Cancer immunology

There were career development sessions, special programs, a poster reception, and many opportunities for networking.

How the Jiler Conference Started

One of our American Cancer Society (ACS) Clinical Research Professors, Alan Solomon, MD, helped set the first Jiler Conference in motion. Around the mid-1990s, Dr. Solomon's father, Joseph Solomon, an eminent estate attorney, contacted his son and told him that one of his clients, Elsa Jiler, wished to make a significant financial contribution to a medically related organization whose efforts focused on cancer. He asked his son if the ACS would be a worthy recipient. Alan assured him that, indeed, the ACS would be an appropriate choice.  

As a result, the ACS received a $5 million donation from Mr. Solomon’s client (her husband, Henry, had previously passed). Under the terms of the donation, Dr. Solomon was to advise the ACS on how the monies would be allocated. 

In the early 1990s, he had attended a joint ACS Professors and ACS-supported postdoctoral fellows scientific conference and had witnessed the intellectually stimulating environment and the beneficial effects of the interchanges between the participants. Unfortunately, given monetary constraints, the ACS
hadn't planned further meetings of this type. Based on this earlier experience, Dr. Solomon felt it essential that financial support be provided to continue to hold such conferences. 

Accordingly, Dr. Solomon advised that $2 million of the donation be used to endow funds that would support what would be termed the Henry & Elsa Jiler Professors & Fellows Conference, to be held biennially beginning in 1999. In addition, he recommended that the remainder of the donation serve to endow another ACS Clinical Research Professorship that would bear the Jiler names.

The Jilers valued creating intellectually stimulating environments to facilitate the exchange of information and promote collaboration, so that’s been our guiding principle since the inaugural gathering of professors in 1999.