EACR Virtual Congress 2021: “A fabulous opportunity to learn from top leading scientists”.

The highly anticipated EACR Congress for 2021 was hosted virtually for the second year in a row. The four-day festival, from 09-12 June 2021, saw high quality scientific presentations and discussions delivered to 1349 participants from 55 countries around the world.

We’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped to contribute to making this year’s Congress so successful and memorable.

The programme featured eight keynote lectures, including EMBO member Charlie Swanton  and Nobel Laureate William Kaelin. In addition to these we saw four ‘Meet The Expert’ sessions, including one by Johanna Joyce on the subject of ‘Exploring and Therapeutically
Exploiting the Tumor Microenvironment’, and a selection of poster spotlights presented by student and early career researchers. Day 1 also saw a panel of editors debate the changing landscape of scientific publishing. A selection of talks will be made available to EACR members through the Member Resources section on the EACR website.

Recordings of the talks and Q&A

All of the sessions have been made available on-demand through the Congress virtual platform, and will remain so until 12 September 2021. A link to the platform can be found here, with the on-demand talks being viewable through the ‘Programme’ tab.

Award Lectures

The 2021 Congress saw three awards being presented to some of Europe’s pioneering cancer researchers, including the new Pezcoller Foundation-EACR Rising Star Award. Given to celebrate a cancer researcher who has the potential to make significant contributions to future cancer research progress, this year’s winner was Dr Sam Behjati of the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK. Dr Behjati gave his Award lecture on Day 1, titled ‘Unravelling the origin of childhood cancer’.

Saturday saw the presentation of the final two awards: the Pezcoller Foundation-EACR Translational Cancer Researcher Award and the Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award, the latter of which was also being awarded for the first time. The Translational Cancer Researcher Award went to Prof. Andrea Ablasser of EPFL, Switzerland who gave her award lecture titled ‘Sensing DNA as a danger signal through the cGAS-STING pathway’. The first winner of the Women in Cancer Research Award was Prof. Karen Vousden of The Francis Crick Institute, UK who spoke on the topic of Diet, ROS and Cancer Progression.

“An excellent update on the most relevant researches and hot topics in cancer biology”

In our participant feedback survey, we saw incredibly positive feedback across the board with highlights including the high quality of speakers, the e-poster gallery, and the ability to watch all of the sessions back on-demand.

Although we were still not able to meet up in-person due to COVID-19, that did not stop excellent science from being discussed. An astonishing 99.5% of survey respondents said they were satisfied with the quality of the scientific content shared at the Congress!
In their own words, here are some other highlights from the Congress participants:

“The talks by Nik-Zainal and Lopez Bigas, and therefore the relevance of bioinformatics today in cancer research.”

“The possibility to attend all the talks, even the ones that coincided in time, by being able to re-visualise the recordings.”

“The EACR Lounge was a great idea that allowed researchers to interact and confront each other.”

“Great opportunity to get new acquaintances – getting to know new companies – very interesting topics and main speakers.”

“Keynote lecture by William Kaelin on how to improve the quality and robustness of preclinical research. Extremeluy inspiring for young researchers.”

“The poster session and some of the talks I was interested in, respectively because I had the opportunity to network and show my studies and because I got to know exciting research.”


With us all wishing we could be in Torino to meet face-to-face, we decided a photo competition would be a fun way to explore the sights and experiences of individual attendees from around the world as they participate virtually from their homes and offices.

Our winner was Cemre Uçaryılmaz who was watching from Istanbul with her cat Pisiq:

Cemre has won herself a free registration to next year’s Congress for her efforts. Some other strong contenders for the prize can be seen below:

EACR 2022 Congress – Innovative Cancer Science: Translating Biology to Medicine

Following this year’s successful event, our eyes are already fixed on next year’s Congress to be held in Seville, Spain! We can not wait to get there and see attendees face-to-face again at last.

To keep up-to-date with the latest news regarding the 2022 Congress, click here.