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AACR Honors Yibin Kang, Ph.D., With Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research

March 21, 2012
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CHICAGO — The American Association for Cancer Research will recognize Yibin Kang, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular biology in the department of molecular biology at Princeton University and member of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, with the 32nd Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 – April 4.

Kang’s lecture, “Decoding tumor-stromal interactions in breast cancer metastasis,” will take place at 4:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday, April 3, in room W196 of McCormick Place West.

“It is a privilege to receive this honor from the American Association for Cancer Research and an honor to be recognized by leaders in the field,” noted Kang. “Through continued collaboration with my distinguished colleagues, I am hopeful that we will be able to further elucidate the inner workings of cancer metastasis and apply that knowledge toward the development of targeted therapies.”

Since 1979, the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research has honored an investigator younger than 40 to recognize his or her meritorious achievements within the field of cancer research. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and are selected by the AACR International Selection Committee. Final determination is then made by the AACR’s Executive Committee.

Kang is being recognized for his research in furthering the molecular understanding of cancer metastasis. His research has defined the biological mechanisms that govern the ability of breast cancer cells to migrate and colonize various locations throughout the body. The need to understand this ability of cancer cells to metastasize and form secondary tumors is essential as these events often occur in patients, despite having received cancer treatments.

Through the use of imaging techniques and various mouse models, Kang has discovered that certain tumor proteins are capable of altering the biological activities of various bone cells to facilitate metastasis. One such protein, JAG1 or “Jagged1,” promotes secondary tumor formation by stimulating tumor-promoting cellular responses in bone cells, causing the eventual degradation of the bone tissue. This allows for the establishment of a more suitable environment for metastatic cancer cells to grow. Kang’s goal is to better understand how cancer cells are able to populate areas of the body away from primary cancer locations so that better treatments can be designed to counteract such occurrences.

Kang received his doctorate in genetics from Duke University in Durham, N.C. He conducted postdoctoral work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y., and joined the faculty of Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., in 2004.

He has published more than 60 novel research articles, and has received numerous awards including the AIMM-ASBMR John Haddad Young Investigator Award and the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award. He was one of five individuals to receive the prestigious 2006 Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar Award. Last year, Kang received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Sciences, a prestigious award honoring young immigrant scientists who have demonstrated exceptional creativity and originality in the early stages of their careers in the United States.

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About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit

Media Contact:
Tara Yates
(215) 446-7110
In Chicago, March 31 – April 4:
(312) 528-8206

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