Dr. Guillermina Lozano Honored With the 16th Annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship
April 6, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will award the 16th Annual AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship to Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Genetics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, for her contributions toward the current understanding of the regulation of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway.
Lozano’s lecture, “Activities of Mutant p53 Proteins in Cancer,” will take place on Saturday, April 6 at 5:15 p.m. ET in Ballroom C in the Walter E. Washington 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., for her discovery of the Friend virus and 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 honored to be in the company of other distinguished scientists who have previously received the Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship Award, and I am inspired by the courage and resourcefulness of the woman for which it was named. Charlotte Friend was an accomplished scientist most renowned for her discovery of the Friend leukemia virus in 1956. She was also a creative and instinctive scientist who had fun doing science. She will continue to serve as one of my role models as I strive to solve the complexities of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway and hopefully, in turn, serve as an example for other women in science,” Lozano said.
Lozano’s research has been critical in clarifying the physiological significance of regulation of the tumor suppressor p53 to cancer development and in highlighting the potential for exploiting this knowledge for cancer treatment. She was the first researcher to identify a transactivation domain in the p53 tumor suppressor, which led other researchers to the identification of the genes controlled by p53. She also demonstrated the critical role that Mdm2 and Mdm4 have in restraining p53 activity and conducted the seminal work that established the importance of p53’s dual role as gatekeeper, or inhibitor of cell growth, and caretaker, or stabilizer of the genome, in preventing tumor development.
Using a mouse model of Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a condition that predisposes patients to early onset of several cancers as a result of inheriting a p53 genetic mutation, Lozano substantiated the idea that distinct p53 mutations in human patients cause cancer in different ways. She followed this work with a series of studies comparing the characteristics of normal and mutant p53. Collectively, the findings in this area of her research have significant implications for the development of therapies for the more than 50 percent of human cancers with a mutation in p53 and emphasize the need to more completely understand these mutations to determine the best course of treatment for individual patients.
She has collaborated with clinical investigators to develop a mouse model that more closely mimics human metastatic lung adenocarcinoma than previous mouse models. This improved mouse model is being used in preclinical studies of preventive and therapeutic agents against lung cancer. She has also collaborated with orthopedic oncologists to create a mouse model to study the formation of sarcomas.
Lozano previously received the 2011 AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award. She has served on several AACR committees, including as chair of the Laboratory Research Awards Selection Committee, as a member of the Research Grant Review Committee and as a member of the 2012 Annual Meeting Program Committee. Lozano is currently an editorial board member for Molecular Cancer Research
. Additionally, she has served on several study sections of the National Institutes of Health.
She received her doctorate in biochemistry from Rutgers University and the UMDNJ in Piscataway, N.J., and completed postgraduate training in molecular biology at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.
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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
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