AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Recipients

This award is presented for outstanding, novel, and significant chemistry research, which has led to important contributions to the fields of basic cancer research, translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, the prevention of cancer, or the treatment of patients with cancer.

11th Annual Award Recipient
Craig M. Crews, PhD
Executive Director, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Dr. Crews delivered his award lecture titled "PROTACs: Targeted Protein Degradation as a Therapeutic Strategy" at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017 in Washington, D.C. The award presentation and lecture were held Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the Washington Convention Center. 

The AACR and its Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group established the Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Award in 2007 to recognize the importance of chemistry in advancing cancer research. The award is presented for outstanding, novel chemistry research that has led to significant contributions to the fields of basic or translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, prevention, or clinical cancer treatments and therapeutics.

Craig Crews, PhD, is honored for his his seminal work toward developing the epoxyketone class of proteasome inhibitors, including Carfilzomib/KyprolisTM.

Also recognized, is Dr. Crews’ ability to take an anti-cancer agent developed from a basic research project in an academic laboratory through to an FDA-approved therapeutic. His unwavering commitment to chemical biology truly embodies a “bench-to-bedside” approach that has a direct impact on patients.

In 2003, he co-founded Proteolix Inc., whose proteasome inhibitor, Kyprolis™ recently received FDA approval for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Since Proteolix’s purchase by Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2009, Dr. Crews has focused on a new drug development technology, which served as the founding intellectual property for his latest New Haven-based biotech venture, Arvinas LLC.
Dr. Crews is the Lewis B. Cullman professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology and holds joint appointments in the departments of chemistry and pharmacology at Yale University. His laboratory has pioneered the use of small molecules to control intracellular protein levels. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in chemistry and received his PhD from Harvard University in biochemistry.

Dr. Crews has a foothold in both the academic and biotech arenas; on the faculty at Yale since 1995, he has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2013 CURE Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2014 Ehrlich Award for Medicinal Chemistry, 2015 Yale Cancer Center Translational Research Prize and a NIH R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (2015).

Award Recipients

  • 2017: Craig M. Crews
  • 2016: James Bradner
  • 2015: Philip S. Low
  • 2014: Dale L. Boger
  • 2013: Alexander Levitzki
  • 2012: Stephen W. Fesik
  • 2011: Gregory L. Verdine
  • 2010: Stuart L. Schreiber
  • 2009: F. Peter Guengerich 
  • 2008: Steven R. Tannenbaum 
  • 2007: Samuel J. Danishefsky