The Vera Bonta Prize

The Vera Bonta Prize has been initiated by Professor Iván Bonta when his wife Vera Bonta deceased as a consequence of lung cancer metastases treated by surgery eight years before. Through this initiative the Emil Starkenstein Foundation is aiming to stimulate research in the field of lung cancer treatment. Since 1997, the Prize has been awarded every 2 years, to outstanding young researchers based on their excellent research in the field of lung cancer on the occasion of a major lung diseases/cancer related event in the Netherlands.

Active financial support by Dutch branches of the international pharmaceutical industry has made it possible to leverage the capital of the Foundation and award every 2 years The Vera Bonta Prize.  The prize amount of € 6000.-., together with a bronze medal, and the opportunity for the winning researcher to present the research results on the occasion of the award event, has made the Prize a unique and prestigious award in the field of lung cancer.

The selection of the winning research work is the responsibility of an independent jury composed of 4 prestigious Dutch/Belgian researchers. Granting of the award is generally done by one of the members of the jury. 

As a tradition the award event is concluded by a get-together dinner where the prize winner can meet with the Bonta family, members of the Foundation Board, the sponsor and jury members.  


The Jury of the Vera Bonta Prize

The members of the Jury of the Vera Bonta Prize are selected on the basis of their reputation and quality of research work, are appointed on invitation by the Foundation Board and operate totally independent of the Foundation and the Sponsors of the prize. Present members are:

  • Prof. Dr P.J. Sterk, Chairman
  • Prof. Dr. P. Baas, Pulmonologist
  • Prof. Dr. J. Van Meerbeeck, Pulmonologist
  • Prof. Dr. J.A. Gietema, Oncologist 

Following persons have been members of the Jury in the past:

  • Prof. J. van der Zee, Pulmonogist
  • Prof. Dr. E.G.E. de Vries, Oncologist
  • Dr. P.R.M. Hekking, Pulmonologist
  • Dr. E.H.J. van Haren, Pulmonologist
  • Prof. Dr. V.C.G. Tjan-Heijnen, Oncologist
  • Prof. dr B. Löwenberg, Hematologist
  • Prof. dr. B. Pinedo, Oncologist 

The Sponsors

Eli Lilly, Netherlands has been co-sponsor of The Vera Bonta Prize since 2007 namely the granting of the Prize in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Quote from Eli Lilly’s Corporate Citizenship report: Eli Lilly is a leading innovation-driven pharmaceutical corporation. We are developing a growing portfolio of best-in-class, first-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from our own worldwide laboratories, by collaborating with eminent scientific organizations, by making use of the most advanced technological tools, and by providing exceptional service to our customers. Through internal programs and external initiatives, we are seeking answers for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. As our products save and improve lives, they also save overall health care costs: they are often less expensive than other forms of health care, such as surgery and hospitalization. We employ more than 46,000 people worldwide and market our medicines in 138 countries. with global sales of USD 12.6 billion in 2003, Lilly has major research and development facilities in nine countries and conducts clinical trials in more than 60 countries.

Schering Plough, Netherlands has co-sponsored the granting of the Vera Bonta Prize in 2003 and 2005 

Vera Bonta Prize