Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care Health System, received the 2015 Service Award from Delaware Bio Science Association at an awards gala on April 22 at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington. Delaware Bio Science is a trade association focused solely on promoting Delaware’s growing bioscience industry.
The Service Award recognizes individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to improve Delaware’s life-science community. William Mongan from AstraZeneca presented the award to Dr. Petrelli.
Over the past 13 years, Dr. Petrelli has been a recognized leader in the state of Delaware in the fight against cancer and developed the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute into a national model of cancer care, prevention, outreach and research.
Thanks to Dr. Petrelli’s leadership and partnerships with others in the state, Delaware’s cancer mortality rate is now dropping twice as fast as the national rate. The state is outpacing the nation in reducing deaths from a number of cancers, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Among his many accomplishments:
- Led the development of 14 multidisciplinary disease site centers and selection as one of the original cancer centers to participate in the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program.
- Achieved one of the highest National Cancer Institute clinical trials participation rates in the country at 24 percent, well above the national rate of 4 percent.
- Developed the first statewide High Risk Family Cancer Registry, consisting of 5,640 families with more than 220,000 individuals and the recruitment of five full-time genetic counselors.
- Established a research partnership with The Wistar Institute of Philadelphia, an international leader in biomedical research, to collaborate on translational cancer research with the aim of bringing the latest discoveries in cancer research to cancer patients in our community.
- Established the Center for Translational Cancer Research, 7,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space where scientists and clinicians work together to find new cancer treatments.
Dr. Petrelli has received numerous awards and has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He has served on several advisory panels of the National Cancer Institute, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Society of Surgical Oncology. In 2013 he received the Order of the First State Award by Governor Jack Markell for his dedication to excellence in serving the community and the state of Delaware.
The Delaware Bio Annual Awards Gala is the premiere bioscience event in Delaware and honors men and women who helped build Delaware’s biotechnology industry.