American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2007

Inaugural Award Honors Collaborative Team Science


April 12, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - Highlighting the collaborative nature of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the inaugural AACR Team Science Award will be presented to a team comprised of researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative science in advancing cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.

Selected for their landmark prostate cancer discovery, the team's research revealed that a majority of prostate cancers harbor recurrent gene fusions of the androgen-regulated gene TMPRSS2, with oncogenic transcription factors of the ETS family. This finding has profound clinical and biological implications for understanding prostate cancer and possibly other common solid tumors.

The AACR Team Science award, established by the AACR and generously supported by a grant from Eli Lilly and Company, acknowledges the growing importance of interdisciplinary team collaboration to the understanding of cancer and the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications.

As medical advances continue to arise, capitalizing on these new opportunities, as they apply to cancer research, often depends on the participation and contribution of researchers in other specialties including chemistry, physics, engineering, computational science, and nanotechnology. The integration of such specialties into cancer research results in the formation of interdisciplinary scientific teams.

Chosen from a pool of nearly 30 applicants, the team will collectively receive a prize of $50,000 and their institutions will be cited for their support of team science and collaboration. Winning team members are:

FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN:

  • Scott A. Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Student
  • Daniel Rhodes, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Bioinformatician, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow
  • Rohit Mehra, M.D., Molecular Pathology Fellow, Research Investigator
  • Rajal Shah, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, Chief of Genitourinary Pathology, Co-Director of the Prostate SPORE Tissue Core
  • Sooryanarayana Varambally, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor, Cancer Biologist
  • Xuhong Cao, M.S., Project Manager and Research Technician
  • Saravana Dhanasekaran, Ph.D. Research Investigator, Molecular Biologist
  • John Wei, M.D., Associate Professor of Urology, Director of Clinical Outcomes Research
  • James Montie, M.D., Chair of Department of Urology, co-Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan Prostate SPORE
  • Kenneth Pienta, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Urology, Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan Prostate SPORE, Medical Oncologist, and Director of the Rapid Autopsy Program
  • Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology, Director, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, co-Director of Pathology Informatics, Director of Cancer Bioinformatics, Pathologist, Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan EDRN Biomarker Development Lab., Project Investigator in the Prostate SPORE
  • Robin Rasor, Director of Licensing, Office of Technology Transfer

FROM HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL AND BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOPSITAL:

  • Mark A. Rubin, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology, Chief of Urologic Pathology, Co-Director Dana-Farber Harvard Prostate SPORE Tissue Core
  • Charles Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, Director of Cytogenetics for the Harvard Cancer Center, Associate Clinical Cytogeneticist
    Sven Perner, M.D., Research Investigator, Pathology Fellow
  • Francesca Demichelis, PhD., Research Investigator, Computational Biologist

The AACR Team Science Award will be presented at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting during the Centennial Ceremony on Sunday, April 16, 2007, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in Hall A of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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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 25,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. 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. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

Contact:
Jennifer Ryan
267-646-0558
ryan@aacr.org