American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Press Releases

AACR and Landon Foundation Present INNOVATOR Awards to Promote Advancement in Cancer Prevention Research and International Collaboration

April 14, 2009

DENVER - The American Association for Cancer Research and the Kirk A. and Dorothy P. Landon Foundation will award the 2nd Annual INNOVATOR Award for Cancer Prevention Research to Gregory P. Tochtrop, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The award for International Collaboration will be presented to Josep M. Llovet, M.D., professor of research at the Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi Sunyer Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain, for the work of the Hepatocellular Carcinoma Genomic Consortium.

The awards will be presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009, to be held from April 18 to 22 in Denver. The awardees will each receive a $100,000, two-year grant and deliver a scientific lecture.

Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Cancer Prevention Research

Tochtrop is honored for his work that expands the knowledge of triterpenoids, naturally occurring organic chemicals, as small molecule chemopreventive agents. He is currently studying the effect of triterpenoids found in common zucchini.

"Preventing cancer is one of the most important goals scientists can undertake. Dr. Tochtrop's work is helping to find chemopreventive agents that are readily available to everyone, in mass quantities," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research. "Dr. Tochtrop is making great strides early in his career. He shows impressive dedication that the AACR is pleased to help foster."

Tochtrop received his doctorate in bio-organic chemistry from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis. He continued with postdoctoral training at the Broad Institute and Harvard University, where he was appointed instructor. He joined the faculty as assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University in 2006. He received the Reuter Foundation Award (2007) and was named a Glennan Fellow (2008), the highest pedagogical award for pre-tenure faculty presented at Case Western Reserve University.

Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for International Collaboration

Llovet is being recognized for his work in uniting researchers in the study of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Llovet worked to assemble the HCC Genomic Consortium, an international group of basic and translational researchers. The goal of this collaboration is to analyze the mutation status of 141 commonly mutated genes in 164 human HHC samples using mass spectrometry to gather molecular information and determine the drivers of HCC.

"International research and collaboration is vital to cancer research because it allows scientists to access a greater, more diverse population and build on each other's knowledge," said Foti. "Llovet's formation of the HCC Genomic Consortium will benefit scientists around the world attempting to find better treatments for liver cancer."

Llovet received his medical degree from the University of Barcelona. Among his numerous positions, he serves as the executive secretary of the International Liver Cancer Association. In 1994, he received the Best Communication Award from the International Association for the Study of the Liver, and the Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Physicians in Spain in 2007. Additionally, Llovet served on the editorial board of Hepatology.

The Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR awards, established in 2008, promote

international cancer research collaboration as an effective means to accelerate progress against cancer; provide the support necessary to sustain and enhance highly meritorious international cancer research collaborations; foster interactions between and among cancer scientists and disseminate the scientific knowledge gained from international collaboration; and contribute to a global impact against cancer.

# # #

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and nearly 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. 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:
Jeremy Moore
In Denver April 18-22: