cgh-asgcr (Pearline Award)

Rachel Pearline Award

About the Rachel Pearline Award

The Rachel Pearline Award honors Rachel Pearline, MD, MPH who received the award named in her memory in 2016 following her death at the age of 38, in November 2015, from gastric cancer. While in medical school, Dr. Pearline completed rotations in South Africa, Haiti, Romania, and rural China where she learned to speak Mandarin fluently. For her work, she received a prestigious Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship and Tulane’s award for “Outstanding International Relationships.” Dr. Pearline viewed the practice of medicine as a privilege, always striving to serve her patients better. 

As part of the Symposium each year, we recognize one outstanding professional for their excellence in global cancer research and practice focused in low- and middle-income countries. . The Steering Committee invites nominations of individuals, at any stage in their career, who have made major contributions to global cancer research and practice. The nominee's work should focus on cancer research and practice in low-and-middle-income countries. The Rachel Pearline Award recipient will be recognized at the Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research where they will be asked as part of the award presentation to give a keynote address that highlights their contributions to global cancer research and/or practice, and their future perspectives.

The Scientific Steering Committee of the 9th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research is pleased to announce the 2020 and 2021 Rachel Pearline awardees who will be recognized on March 11, 2021 during the Rachel Pearline Award ceremony.

Chite Asirwa2020 Rachel Pearline Awardee: Dr. Frederick Chite Asirwa

Dr. Frederick Chite Asirwa is a Consultant Physician, Medical Oncologist & Hematologist, and CEO of the International Cancer Institute (ICI), in Eldoret, Kenya. He is the 2020 Pearline Award recipient. Dr. Chite has dedicated his career to improvement of cancer in LMICs and has extensive oncology research experience in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa.


"Professor Chite is patient focused and managed to start an oncology centre with very minimal resources and grew the centre into one of the cancer hubs in Western Kenya. He is currently spearheading the management of breast, cervical cancer, lung cancer, and Burkitt’s lymphoma in the region through partnership with various organizations. He has managed to enroll needy patients in the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enable them to get treatment and set up a shelter to cater to patients who travel far for chemotherapy to ensure they don't miss their cycles. He is also collaborating with counties in an aim to focus on prevention and health promotion measures through screening services and awareness campaigns. His passion for holistic patient care is impeccable."

Karla Alfaro2021 Rachel Pearline Awardee: Dr. Karla Alfaro

Dr. Karla Alfaro is the Medical Director of Basic Health International (BHI) El Salvador and the 2021 Pearline Award recipient. She is a recognized expert in cervical cancer prevention and has pioneered the implementation of novel strategies to achieve large-scale screening combined with immediate treatment, saving lives across the globe.


"Dr Alfaro helped to create a paradigm for cervical cancer elimination that was adopted by the Salvadoran government and is being used as a blueprint for elimination in other settings. WHO and several countries from around the world have sought Dr Alfaro’s guidance to formulate their own national policies. Dr Alfaro was an author of the WHO’s Technical Document on implementation and scaling for primary HPV testing. With her exceptional experience in field investigations, Dr Alfaro continues to execute ground-breaking research even in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore allowing essential preventive services to continue. Dr. Alfaro has improved laboratory infrastructure for COVID-19 testing, which can later be used for HPV detection when the pandemic subsides. Dr Alfaro has proven flexibility to lend public health expertise to the current crisis while continuing to lay the groundwork for the elimination of cervical cancer."

For more information about the Rachel Pearline Award ceremony and the awardees, see the Symposium agenda and the Speakers page


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