The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) have awarded Michel P Coleman, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics, with this year’s prestigious Calum S. Muir Memorial Award. At a special ceremony at their Annual Conference in Pittsburgh on 12 June 2018, the award was presented by the current President of NAACCR, and Director of the New Jersey Cancer Registry, Dr Antoinette Stroup.
The Calum S. Muir Memorial Award is to honour someone who has made substantive and outstanding contributions in cancer registration. Prof Coleman received this award ‘in recognition of his outstanding leadership and his lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of cancer registration and surveillance.’
The award was bestowed by the NAACCR Board of Directors, who referred to him as an engaging speaker, and a gifted teacher and mentor. Their nomination emphasised Michel’s ‘truly exceptional’ contributions, particularly in the area of ‘advancing the capacity of cancer registries to produce high-quality cancer survival data and in training registry staff to evaluate, analyse and interpret population-based cancer survival data.’
The NAACCR Board of Directors highlighted Michel’s outstanding leadership and his lifetime commitment to cancer registration and cancer surveillance, starting from his work at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, then at the Thames Cancer Registry in London, and finally at LSHTM as a leader of a successful and productive research group. They also underlined the key role that Michel had in the CONCORD programme, which established global surveillance of cancer survival for the first time in 2015, and how the impact of this programme and its associated capacity building activities have benefitted NAACCR members and beyond.
They then concluded ‘we cannot think of a more outstanding and deserving person for the Calum S. Muir Memorial Award.’
The fact that the award is named in memory of Calum S. Muir was of particular significance to Michel, who had worked with him at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon. Dr Muir was a founder member of the International Association of Cancer Registries and a pioneer in cancer registration worldwide. Following the award Michel said ‘Calum Muir was an inspiration to me and many others at the Agency in the 1990s […] He was a Scottish gentleman, who had a major hand in the first six volumes of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, and from whom I learned the merits and, almost as a byproduct, the effectiveness of unselfish collaboration in international cancer studies […] I hope he would have been proud of me.’