Past recipients


Dr. Eduardo D. Bruera, FAAHPM

dr-bruera-bio photo, Balfour

Dr. Eduardo Bruera is chair, Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he currently holds the F.T. McGraw Chair in the Treatment of Cancer. He was also medical director of the outpatient Supportive Care Center for 15 years until 2018. Dr. Bruera obtained his medical degree from the University of Rosario, in Argentina. 

He trained in Medical Oncology and in 1984, he relocated to the University of Alberta in Edmonton where he directed the clinical and academic palliative care programs until 1999That year, Dr. Bruera joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he established and has since led the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Bruera’s main clinical interest is the care of the physical and psychosocial distress of patients with advanced cancer, as well as the support of their families. He established and led, for the first five years of operations, the Edmonton Regional and Palliative Care program. This unique program provides access to palliative care to more than 80 per cent of patients who die of cancer in the Edmonton Region.

An interest in the development of palliative care programs internationally, particularly in the developing world, motivated Dr. Bruera to help establish numerous palliative care programs in Latin America, India, and different areas of Europe. He has held leadership roles with the World Health Organization, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, and the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care.

In addition to training hundreds of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals in the clinical delivery of palliative care, Dr. Bruera established the first academic fellowship program in palliative care at the University of Alberta and one of the first academic palliative care fellowships in the United States at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Bruera has more than 1,000 peer reviewed publications and has edited 31 books. He has given more than 900 major invited lectures and has received multiple federal research grants in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Bruera has received a number of national and international awards, including the American Cancer Society Lane Adams Quality of Life Award and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has established the “Eduardo Bruera Award” as a career award for palliative care specialists. Dr. Bruera received an honorary doctorate from the University of Montreal in 2017 and in 2018, the Latin American Association for Palliative Care established the “Eduardo Bruera” career award for research.


David Hui, MD, M.Sc. (Biochem), M.Sc. (Clinical Rsch)


Dr. David Hui is a tenured associate professor at the Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, with a joint appointment to the Department of General Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA. His research interests include integration of supportive/palliative care into oncology, symptom management clinical trials, prognostication, and research methodology. 

He completed his medical school at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, followed by internal medicine residency at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, medical oncology fellowship at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, and supportive/palliative oncology clinical research fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

He is the principal investigator of multiple randomized controlled trials, supported by research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the American Cancer Society. He has authored and/or co-authored over 200 scientific papers, with his work appearing at various peer-review journals such as JAMAJ Clin OncolLancet Oncol and Ann Oncol. He is also the author/editor of 4 books. He has served on several NIH grant review panels and is currently an Associate Editor at the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. In addition to academic pursuits, he is active clinically in both palliative care and medical oncology.


Professor Irene J Higginson OBE

higginson-irene, past recipient

Irene Higginson qualified in medicine from Nottingham University and has worked in wide ranging medical and university positions, including radiotherapy and oncology, in-patient and home hospice care, the Department of Health (England), and various universities. She is dual-trained in palliative medicine and public health medicine. She has developed and validated two outcome measures both freely available and used widely in palliative care: the Support Team Assessment Schedule and the Palliative care Outcome Scale.

She is Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, at King’s College London, the world’s first purpose-built Institute of palliative care, integrating research, education, clinical services and support and information. Prof. Higginson is an NIHR Senior Investigator and was in 2013 awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, for her contribution to the field. She has several active research programmes, leads the MSc, Diploma and Certificate in Palliative Care, supervises several PhD students and is active in teaching. Prof. Higginson has published over 450 articles in peer-reviewed journals, plus several books; her research interests and publications are in the following areas: quality of life and outcome measurements, evaluation of palliative care especially of new services and interventions, epidemiology, clinical audit, effectiveness, psychosocial care, symptom assessment, breathlessness, cachexia/anorexia, and elderly care. She plays an active role in the clinical service, including on-call, and is Director of Research and Development and Assistant Medical Director at King’s College Hospital.


Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN

Professor and director, Division of Nursing Research and Education, City of Hope Medical Center, Duarte, California

Over her nursing career, Dr. Ferrell has focused her research and clinical expertise in the areas of pain management, quality of life and palliative care. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and has authored more than 370 publications in peer-reviewed journals and texts. She is principal investigator of a research project funded by the National Cancer Institute titled Palliative Care for Patients with Solid Tumors in Phase 1 Clinical Trials. She is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and co-chair of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.


Dr. David Currow, Alexandria, New South Wales, Australia


Dr. Michael Kearney, Santa Barbara, California