Scientists making advances in cancer to receive international awards

AACR confers honors at 97th Annual Meeting

Leading scientists whose work in research laboratories, universities and medical centers is helping to understand and eradicate cancer will be recognized April 1-5, 2006, by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at its 97th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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 are:

Carlo M. Croce, M.D., The John Wolfe Professor for Cancer Research, Chairman, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, Director, Human Cancer Genetics Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, will receive the 46th AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for his for his seminal contributions that revolutionized leukemia and lymphoma research and treatment. The AACR and Eli Lilly and Company established this award in 1961 to honor Dr. Clowes, a founding member of AACR and a research director at Eli Lilly. The award the oldest given by AACR recognizes an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. Dr. Croce's lecture, "Roles of microRNA Genes in Leukemogenesis," will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4, in Hall D of the Washington Convention Center.

Wiliam G. Kaelin, Jr.,M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., will be awarded the 30th AACR-Richard and 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 to soon 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. Kaelin, who is honored for his discoveries related to the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL), will give his lecture "The von Hippel-Lindau Hereditary Cancer Syndrome: Insights into Oxygen Sensing and Cancer," at noon on Tuesday, April 4, in Hall D of the Washington Convention Center.

Julian Adams, Ph.D.,Chief Scientific Officer, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Mass., will be the recipient of the 25th AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award. He is being honored for the synthesis of the first selective proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib (VELCADE), for recognizing the potential of a proteasome inhibitor as a novel cancer therapeutic, and for appreciating the relationship between the proteasome, NF-kB and multiple myeloma. This award, established in 1982 by the AACR and Warner Lambert Company (now Pfizer), recognizes an individual or research team for outstanding preclinical research in the fields of medicinal chemistry, biochemistry or tumor biology as related to drug discovery that has implications for the improved care of cancer patients. The prize was established to honor Dr. Bruce F. Cain, whose scientific interests involved the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of potential anti-tumor drugs. Adams will present his lecture, "The Proteasome and Cancer: The Discovery and Development of VELCADE," at 9:00 a.m., April 5, in Ballroom A-B of the Washington Convention Center.

Nicholas Edward Day, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, UK, will be honored with the 15th AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. With this award, Day will be recognized for developing and widely applying many of the statistical methods that support modern cancer epidemiology. The award is intended to distinguish outstanding achievements in the fields of epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention. Day will present his lecture on "Cancer Prevention: Past Perspectives and Future Directions," at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, in Hall D of the Washington Convention Center.

Merrill J. Egorin., M.D., Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa., will be honored in recognition of his outstanding achievements in clinical and preclinical cancer pharmacology. Dr. Egorin will be the recipient of the 11th AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Clinical Research Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in clinical cancer research. The award's namesake was an honorary member and past president of AACR, as well as a major figure in clinical cancer research. Dr. Egorin's lecture, "Keep on Trucking: Antineoplastic Clinical Pharmacology--Where We Have Been, and Where We Need to Go," is to be presented at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 5, in Ballroom A-B of the Washington Convention Center.

Ivan Dikic, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the Institute for Biochemistry II, Goethe University Medical School in Frankfurt, Germany, is the recipient of the26th 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. Dikic will be honored for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling and regulation during his short and yet remarkably productive career as an independent investigator. Dr. Dikic's lecture, "Ubiquitination in Cellular Signaling and Cancer Pathogenesis," will be given at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, in Hall D of the Washington Convention Center.

Nancy Hopkins, Ph.D., the Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, will be honored with the 9th AACR-Women in Cancer Research-Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship. Hopkins was chosen for her unprecedented success in cloning vertebrate developmental genes by exploiting zebra fish as an ideal model organism, and also for her revolutionary work on gender equity issues in science. 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. Hopkins will present her lecture, "Genes for Development and Disease in Zebrafish," at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, in Ballroom A of the Washington Convention Center.

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Editors Note: Additional award information is available by clicking here:http://www.aacr.org/page5667.aspx

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 60 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts over 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.


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