Jean-Yves Blay

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President, French Federation of Cancer Centers, Unicancer

Professor Jean-Yves Blay, MD is a medical oncologist, General Director of the Centre Leon Berard, the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Lyon, France. He is a world-renowned researcher and a Professor at the University Claude Berard, France. In October 2019, he was elected President of Unicancer, the French Federation of comprehensive cancer centres, for the term 2020-2022.

His work focuses on sarcoma, genomics and targeted treatment of cancer, immune-oncology, and the relationship between tumour immunologic microenvironment and malignant cells, with the goal of clinical applications in the field of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

He has been distinguished with the Hamilton-Fairly award from ESMO (2012) and the Henry and Mary-Jane Mitjaville prize from the National Academy of Medicine (2013).

In June 2022, Professor Blay was appointed as the next Director of Public Policy of the ESMO (2023-2024): building on ESMO expertise, he will aim to reduce inequalities for routine care and research in EU countries by matching the pace of precision medicine, developing international continuous medical education and working with national and international cancer plans. He has covered various roles within the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO): Guidelines Committee Subject Editor for Sarcoma and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours; Faculty Coordinator for Sarcoma; Scientific Director of the ESMO 2019 Congress; and member of the Principles of Clinical Trials and Systematic Therapy Faculty.

Professor Blay advises various national and international institutions and research organisations, and is an active member of several oncological organisations and societies, such as ASCO, AACR and ESMO. He is the Director of the European Reference Network on Rare Solid Tumours (EURACAN H2020 739521), designated by the European Commission in 2016 to improve the quality of care for patients with rare cancers in the EU (66 centres in 17 countries). Previously, he served as the President of EORTC between 2009 and 2012 and the former Principal Investigator of CONTICANET, an EU Commission network of excellence (6th FP).

He is also the President of the French Sarcoma Group, the Network Leader of NETSARC sarcoma treatment reference centres, the Director of LYRICAN the Integrated Site for Innovative Research in Cancer (SIRIC) in Lyon, and the Scientific Director of AURAGEN (France Médecine Génomique 2025).

Professor Blay has co-authored over 700 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and was distinguished as Highly Cited Researcher in 2019.

Updated: August 2022