Scientists making advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment to receive awards


AACR confers honors at annual meeting in Orlando, March 27-31, 2004

Leading scientists whose work in research laboratories, universities and medical centers is helping to understand and eradicate cancer will be recognized March 27-31, 2004, by the American Association for Cancer Research at its 95th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

A series of awards is given annually by the AACR the world's oldest and largest professional society representing cancer scientists from the United States and more than 60 other countries to honor world-class accomplishments in basic research, clinical care, therapeutics and prevention. Each recipient presents a lecture at the AACR Annual Meeting.

"We are privileged to acknowledge just a few of the extraordinary men and women who, over the years, have given us a clear understanding of how cancer evolves and of the signals that drive and nourish its growth and spread, and those who have improved patient care and preventive strategies," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), AACR chief executive officer.

"This is an exciting time in cancer research, and the AACR award winners are among the leaders in this new era of discovery, therapeutics and treatment," she added.

Each award has its own selection committee composed of members of the AACR. Peers and colleagues nominate the award candidates.

This year's winners represent institutions in Boston, Mass.; Baltimore, Md.; La Jolla and Los Angeles, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas ; and New York, N.Y.

They are:

Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Children's Hospital of Boston; senior investigator, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research; Charles A. Janeway professor of pediatrics and professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School, will receive the 44th AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for his major discoveries involving genomic stability and cancer. The AACR and Eli Lilly and Company established this award in 1961 to honor Clowes, a founding member of AACR and a research director at Eli Lilly. The award the oldest award given by the AACR recognizes outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. Dr. Alt's lecture, "Genomic Stability and Cancer: From Gene Amplification to V(D)J Recombination and Back," will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 28, in Hall E of the Orange County Convention Center.

David Sidransky, M.D., professor of otolaryngology, oncology, urology, genetics, pathology, and cellular and molecular medicine; and director of head and neck cancer research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., has won the 28th AACR-Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award. The Rosenthal Foundation, built on the belief that those who reap unusual benefits from society have an obligation to repay the debt with creative and energetic contributions to human progress, founded the award with the AACR in 1977 to recognize research that has made, or promises soon to make, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer, and to provide incentive to such young investigators relatively early in their careers. Dr. Sidransky, 43, who is being honored for pioneering translational research in molecular oncology, will lecture on "Taking Molecular Diagnostics from the Bench to the Bedside," from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, March 30, in Hall E.

Dennis A. Carson, M.D., professor in the department of medicine and director of the Rebecca and John Moores University of California, San Diego Cancer Center, will be honored with the 23rd AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award for developing and seeing through to its clinical use an effective therapy for hairy cell leukemia, as well as discovering a number of cancer-producing mutations that have led to other, specifically targeted patient therapies. The award recognizes an individual or research team for outstanding preclinical research that has implications for the improved care of cancer patients. The AACR and Warner Lambert Company (now Pfizer) established the award in 1982 to honor Dr. Bruce F. Cain, whose scientific interests involved the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of potential anti-tumor drugs. Dr. Carson's lecture, "Drug-induced Apoptosis in Primary Malignant Lymphocytes," is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 31, in the auditorium.

Malcolm C. Pike, Ph.D., professor and formerly Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, earned the 13th AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention for his contributions to the prevention of hormone-related cancers, particularly breast cancer. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fields of epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention. Dr. Pike will deliver a lecture entitled, "The Prevention of Female Cancers Acting on What We Know," at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 31, in the auditorium.

Clara D. Bloomfield, M.D., William G. Pace III professor of cancer research; OSU Cancer Scholar and senior advisor to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, will be given the 9th AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Clinical Cancer Research Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research.

Dr. Bloomfield has done pioneering work in adult leukemia and lymphoma over three decades. Her groundbreaking contributions have dramatically improved patient treatment, especially through her demonstration that older patients can be cured with appropriate therapy. The award's namesake was an honorary member and past president of AACR, as well as a major figure in clinical cancer research. Dr. Bloomfield's lecture, "Curing Acute Leukemia in Adults," will be from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, in Hall E.

Xiaodong Wang, Ph.D., George L. MacGregor distinguished chair in biomedical science at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is accorded the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research as an accomplished young investigator in the field who is no more than 40 years old at the time the award is conferred. Dr. Wang, born in Wuhan, China, in April 1963, earned his doctorate at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and is being recognized for important discoveries concerning the biochemical mechanisms of apoptosis. His lecture is entitled, "Therapeutic Applications of Biochemical Pathways of Apoptosis," will be given at 7:00 a.m., Monday, March 29, in the auditorium.

Paul Talalay, M.D., John Jacob Abel distinguished service professor in the department of pharmacology and molecular sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was chosen to deliver the 9th AACR-DeWitt S. Goodman Memorial Lecture.

The lectureship is supported by anonymous contributions from two AACR members and memorializes an international leader in the field of nutrition and cancer, and cancer prevention. Dr. Talalay is being honored for his seminal and continued contributions to basic and translational aspects of chemoprevention research. His lecture, "Protection Against Cancer: Edible Plants, Chemistry, and Gene Regulation," will take place from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 28, in Hall F-3.

Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess professor at The Rockefeller University in New York City, has been invited to deliver the 7th AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lecture. Named for the renowned virologist and discoverer of the Friend virus, Dr. Charlotte Friend, this lecture provides recognition for an outstanding scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the field of cancer research and who has, through leadership or by example, furthered the advancement of women in science. Dr. de Lange is being honored for her body of scientific work elucidating the role of the telomere in chromosome structure, cellular growth and cancer. Her lecture, "Protection and Maintenance of Human Telomeres," will be presented at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 27, in Hall F-3.

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