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Team Honored for Discovering Genomic Changes Affecting Treatment of Lung Cancer

April 14, 2010

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team Receives the AACR’s Fourth Annual Team Science Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The fourth annual American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award will be given to Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010. This research team is comprised of interdisciplinary investigators from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

The AACR Team Science Award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment.

“We are incredibly pleased to honor the Dana-Farber/Harvard group with the AACR Team Science Award,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “This team has an interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to cancer research that epitomizes how cancer research will be conducted in the future. More than ever, investigators are collaborating on projects that expedite scientific breakthroughs and translate to clinical benefits from a number of different fields for patients.”

Investigators from the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team characterized the impact of genomic changes in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes in lung cancer that led to a fundamental change in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. The team initially discovered the lung cancer-associated mutations in EGFR, assessed the origin and development of these mutations, and tested pharmacologic agents in prospective clinical trials of patients with genomically defined lung cancer.

The AACR Team Science Award, generously supported by a grant from Eli Lilly and Company, is given to affect change within the traditional cancer research culture by recognizing those individuals and institutions that value and foster interdisciplinary team science. The team will collectively receive a $50,000 prize.

The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team will also be cited for its leadership role in fostering team science. Honorees from the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Thoracic Oncology Research Team include:

  • Michael J. Eck, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, department of cancer biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and professor, department of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, Harvard Medical School;
  • Jeffrey A. Engelman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in medicine, Harvard Medical School; and chief of thoracic oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center;
  • Nathanael S. Gray, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, Harvard Medical School; and assistant professor, cancer biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;
  • Daniel A. Haber, M.D., Ph.D., director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; Isselbacher/Schwartz professor of oncology, Harvard Medical School; and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute;
  • Pasi A. Jänne, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; and director of the Translational Research Lab, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;
  • Bruce E. Johnson, M.D., professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; director, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Lung Cancer Program; and director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;
  • Susumu Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center;
  • Eunice L. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center;
  • Neal I. Lindeman, M.D., assistant professor of pathology, Harvard Medical School; and associate pathologist, molecular diagnostics and clinical chemistry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
  • Thomas J. Lynch, M.D., professor of medicine and director, Yale Cancer Center; physician-in-chief, Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, Conn.; former professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; and former chief, division of hematology and oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital;
  • Shyamala Maheswaran, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center;
  • Matthew L. Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and director, Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and senior associate member, Broad Institute;
  • Lecia V. Sequist, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, Center for Thoracic Cancers, Massachusetts General Hospital;
  • Jeffrey E. Settleman, Ph.D., professor, department of medicine, Harvard Medical School; and scientific director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center;
  • Daniel G. Tenen, M.D., professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center;
  • Mehmet Toner, Ph.D., professor of surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Laboratory for Bioengineering in Medicine; and
  • Kwok-Kin Wong, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The AACR Team Science Award will be presented during the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 opening ceremony on Sunday, April 18, from 8:15 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. ET, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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Download interviews with cancer researchers and recordings of the teleconferences by subscribing to the AACR Scientific Podcasts via iTunes or an RSS Reader.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The 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, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 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. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Michele Leiberman
(267) 646-0622
michele.leiberman@aacr.org
In Washington, D.C. April 17-21:

(202) 249-4098

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