Larry Davis, Linda Reinstein, among MARF Honorees at 2011 Symposium

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has announced the recipients of their research, advocacy, and volunteer awards that will be presented at the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in Washington D.C. this June.

MARF states that their Pioneer, Bruce Vento Hope Builder and Volunteer of the Year Awards are given to those who ”advance [the foundation]’s mission to eradicate the suffering caused by mesothelioma through science, advocacy, support, and awareness-building.

Dr. Raffit Hassan, a senior investigator and chief of the solid tumor immunotherapy section in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute and the former chairman of the MARF’s Science Advisory Board, will be awarded the Pioneer Award. He is receiving his award for work he has done on targeting mesothelin, a protein that is highly expressed in mesothelioma cases that has already been developed into two successful clinical trials while a third one is pending.

Larry Davis, an avid runner who has worked tirelessly since his mesothelioma diagnosis to raise awareness regarding the disease, will receive Volunteer of the Year honors. In addition to his volunteer efforts for MARF, which include an annual 8k road race he organizes in his home state of Florida, Davis also regularly corresponds with politicians, journalists, philanthropists, doctors, and many others to help gain support and put the ill of mesothelioma into the national spotlight.

Linda Reinstein, the co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, will receive the Bruce Vento Hope Builder Award. The award is named after Vento, a Minnesota Congressman who succumbed to mesothelioma in 2000. Reinstein herself lost her husband to mesothelioma in 2006, and has since used the ADAO to help spread awareness regarding the dangers of asbestos in the eventual hope of getting its usage banned in the United States.

MARF’s Symposium will take place from June 23-25. For more information, visit

Living with the day-to-day hardships of mesothelioma – whether it is you or a loved one who has been diagnosed with the illness – is both emotionally and financially taxing for all who are involved. If you feel that a company or former employer may be responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to an illness, contact a mesothelioma attorney to learn about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.