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Dr. Charis Eng Honored With the 17th Annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship

March 5, 2014
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SAN DIEGO — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will award the 17th annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship to Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, to be held in San Diego, Calif., April 5-9.

Eng is the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis endowed chair in cancer genomic medicine and founding director of the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. She is being recognized for her unstinting support and active promotion of women working in cancer research, medicine, and genetics. She will present her lecture, “PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome Previvorship: What now?,” Saturday, April 5, 5:15 p.m. PT, in Ballroom 20D in the San Diego Convention Center.

The AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship was established in 1998 in honor of renowned virologist Charlotte Friend, Ph.D., discoverer of the Friend virus, for her pioneering research on viruses, cell differentiation, and cancer. The lectureship recognizes 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.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be named this year’s Friend Memorial Lecturer. Dr. Friend was an innovator before her time and her journey underscores the importance of mentorship as illustrated by Dr. Peyton Rous’ sponsorship on her behalf, and in turn, her relentless lifelong mentorship of women in science. She is an inspiration for all of us,” said Eng.

Throughout her career, Eng has mentored scientists and budding scientists, from high school students, to postdoctoral fellows, to junior faculty. Many of her mentees are now in leadership roles in clinical and research institutions around the world and have themselves been awarded numerous prestigious fellowships, honors, and awards.

Eng is also renowned for her important research discoveries, particularly her efforts to identify, characterize, and understand genes that cause susceptibility to inherited cancer syndromes and to determine how these genes can be used to develop new clinical applications. For example, she was the founding chair of the International Cowden Consortium, which mapped and identified the PTEN tumor suppressor gene as the susceptibility gene for Cowden syndrome, and her laboratory continues to investigate the ways in which PTEN inactivation occurs in different cancers and to look for novel approaches to targeting it for therapy and prevention. Her work has been published in more than 400 peer-reviewed publications.

After receiving her doctorate and medical degrees from the University of Chicago, which she entered at the age of 16, Eng completed her residency in Boston, Mass., at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she specialized in internal medicine, and trained in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She formally trained in clinical cancer genetics under the guidance of Sir Bruce A.J. Ponder, MB.BChir., Ph.D., during her fellowship at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. Following her training and prior to her position with the Cleveland Clinic, Eng worked at Dana-Farber and The Ohio State University in Columbus.

An active AACR member, Eng has served on several committees and as a senior editor of Cancer Research. In 1991, she received the AACR-Upjohn Company Scholar-in-Training Award.

Eng has been recognized with numerous other accolades throughout her career, including the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Award, the American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship, and election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the American Association of Physician. She was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in 2009. Read more about Eng.

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