Dr. Christos Sotiriou received the “Prix Scientifique Joseph Maisin” a prestigious quinquennial award by the Belgian F.R.S.-FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique/Fund for Scientific Research)

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On 30 November 2015, Dr. Christos Sotiriou (MD, PhD, Jules Bordet Institute, Head of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory J-C Heuson - Université Libre de Bruxelles/Belgium, researcher at the F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique/Fund for Scientific Research) received the quinquennial “Prix Scientifique Joseph Maisin” in the category of “Clinical Biomedical Sciences”. This prestigious award is presented by the F.R.S.-FNRS and covers a period of five years. For the period 2011-2015, it was granted to Dr. Sotiriou for his seminal contribution to translational research in the field of breast cancer.

Upon receiving the news of the award, Dr. Sotiriou said: “I am greatly honoured by this award and I want to take this occasion to thank all the people I have worked with throughout the years: academic colleagues, fellow doctors, medical staff, students, etc. Together, we will continue to drive the breast cancer clinical and translational research agenda. One of the much-anticipated and promising international research programmes based on molecular screening and dedicated to improving our understanding of metastatic breast cancer, is AURORA, launched by the BIG (Breast International Group) network.

Very little is known regarding the evolution of molecular alterations that characterize metastatic breast cancer. We will learn a lot about breast cancer biology, its natural history, and response to standard and/or targeted agents, which will ultimately lead to better treatments and care.

Christos Sotiriou, MD, PhD

Head of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory J-C Heuson (BCTL) - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Faculty of Medicine, located at Institut Jules Bordet / Brussels, Belgium.

Dr. Christos Sotiriou earned his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, in 1993 and his specialty in medical oncology in July 1999. From October 1999 to September 2001, he worked as a research fellow, at the Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. After having completed a PhD thesis at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in September 2004, he became “Chercheur Qualifié” (Research Faculty Member - tenured position) at the F.R.S.-FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique/Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium) in 2005. In March 2010, he took over the leadership of the Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory J-C Heuson. In October 2013, he was appointed “Maître de Recherche” (Senior Research Associate - tenured position) by the F.R.S.-FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique/Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium) and “Chef de Clinique” (Head of clinic) at the Medical Oncology Clinic of the Institut Jules Bordet.


Dr. Sotiriou leads a very successful research group that has contributed to seminal and practice-changing results in breast cancer research. With over 200 original research publications, he is among the most productive and high impact scientists in translational research today. He developed the Genomic Grade Index, a gene expression prognostic signature of which its prognostic value is now being evaluated in a prospective clinical trial in Europe (ASTER 70s). He was also the first to report that in the triple negative and in HER2-positive subgroups, high expression of immune-related genes and/or high lymphocytic infiltration are associated with good prognosis and response to trastuzumab. Dr. Sotiriou is currently applying next generation sequencing technology to address several important clinical and biological questions that remain unsolved. Using such approaches he provided the largest mutational landscape of about 650 unique invasive lobular carcinomas and in a very recent study he produced the largest survey so far of A-to-I RNA editing in breast and other cancers. These results are ground-breaking because they open new avenues for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for breast cancer.


A widely recognized thought leader, Dr. Sotiriou has served as Chair or Co-Chair of symposia in very high visibility international conferences, including IMPAKT, ASCO and ESMO. He is an active member of numerous scientific committees and is also an Advisory Council Member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. He is Elected Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences and Elected Member of the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization). He has recently been appointed Associate Editor for breast cancer for Annals of Oncology, ESMO’s official journal. He has also received many prestigious awards and has obtained steady independent, peer reviewed research funding over the past 15 years.


Dr. Christos Sotiriou is also very passionate about music. He plays the electric guitar and, together with three friends, has formed a band – they play rock and blues music.


For more information on the laureates of the F.R.S.-FNRS Quinquennial Scientific Prizes 2015, also watch this video – a film that was showed during the prize ceremony on 30 November 2015, in the presence of His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium.