American Association for Cancer Research

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AACR Congratulates Recipients of the Inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences


February 22, 2013

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AACR President-elect Charles L. Sawyers, M.D. is among the 11 winners.  

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research congratulates the recipients of the first Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Nine of the 11 recipients are members of the AACR, including President-elect Charles L. Sawyers, M.D.

The award recognizes scientists for their achievements in the life sciences field and provides them with the opportunity and freedom to continue their important pioneering research into curing disease. Each recipient will receive $3 million.

“The AACR extends sincere congratulations to each winner of this award,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “All of these scientists have made remarkable contributions in their fields. Each one undoubtedly has more to offer the scientific community and the public, and this award will ensure that they continue to pursue their cutting-edge research. We are especially proud to see so many AACR members recognized, because their commitment to accelerating research to prevent and cure cancer is invaluable.”

The following AACR members received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences:

  • David Botstein, Ph.D., Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
  • Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., director, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.; Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team Leader, Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women’s Cancers
  • Hans Clevers, M.D., Ph.D., director, Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., Ph.D., Genentech Fellow, University of California, San Diego, Calif.
  • Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y.
  • Eric S. Lander, Ph.D., director, Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.; SU2C-PCF Prostate Cancer Dream Team Co-Leader, Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer; AACR president-elect
  • Bert Vogelstein, M.D., professor of oncology and pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
  • Robert A. Weinberg, Ph.D., professor of biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
The AACR also applauds the additional two recipients, Cornelia I. Bargmann, Ph.D., Torsten N. Wiesel Professor in the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, Rockefeller University, and Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., investigator, Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, Calif. and Kyoto University, Japan, and 2012 Nobel Prize recipient.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation was established by Yuri Miller, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, Anne Wojcicki, the founder of the genetics company 23andMe, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. In the future, the foundation plans to award five prizes annually. Although many of this year’s recipients have worked in cancer research, the prize is open to scientists working in all fields of medicine and biology.

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About the American Association for Cancer Research
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 membership includes more than 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 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight 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 team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term 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 www.AACR.org.

Media Contact:
Lauren Riley
(215) 446-7155
Lauren.Riley@aacr.org