American Association for Cancer Research

AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Curtis C. Harris, M.D.  23rd Annual Award Recipient
Curtis C. Harris, M.D.
Chief, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Harris will deliver his award lecture titled Integration of Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers in Precision Cancer Medicine at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 in San Diego, Calif. The award presentation and lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the San Diego Convention Center. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 page for more information.

The Award and Lecture

The AACR and the American Cancer Society established this award in 1992 to honor outstanding research accomplishments in the fields of cancer epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention.

The recipient of the 23rd Annual AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention will receive an honorarium of $5,000, give a 50-minute lecture, and be given support for the winner and a guest to attend the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, in San Diego, Calif., USA (April 5-9, 2014).

Eligibility

  • Candidacy is open to all cancer researchers who are affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine, or cancer-related biomedical science anywhere in the world. Such institutions include those in academia, industry, or government.
  • The award will be presented to an individual investigator.
  • Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.

Nomination Procedure and Instructions

Nominations are closed.

Nominations may be made by any scientist, whether an AACR member or nonmember, who is now or has been affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine, or cancer-related biomedical science. Candidates may not nominate themselves.

Selection

Candidates will be considered by a committee of international cancer leaders appointed by the president of the AACR. After careful deliberations by the award committee, its recommendations will be forwarded to the executive committee of the AACR for final consideration and decision. Selection of the award recipient will be made on the basis of the candidate's cancer research accomplishments in the fields of epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention. No regard will be given to age, race, gender, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.

Supporter

Generously supported by the American Cancer Society.

Questions?

Linda Stokes, Program Associate
awards@aacr.org

American Association for Cancer Research
615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
215-446-7128

SPOTLIGHT

Curtis C. Harris, M.D. 23rd Annual Award Recipient
Curtis C. Harris, M.D.
Chief, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Harris is honored for his exceptional career in molecular cancer epidemiology, cancer biomarkers and cancer prevention.

Among his contributions to molecular cancer epidemiology is the first molecular link between an environmental carcinogen, aflatoxin B1, and a specific mutation at codon 249 of the TP53 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma. This discovery was selected by the AACR as a Centennial Landmark in Cancer Research. He pioneered investigation of carcinogen metabolism, DNA damage, and DNA repair among humans and their tissues, and explored the quantitative analysis of p53 mutations in human tissues and plasma prior to cancer in tobacco smokers and in chronic inflammation. His work on p53 function in the regulation of DNA repair, apoptosis, and cellular senescence is particularly important. These and other contributions made by Dr. Harris’ studies substantially contributed to the concepts of cancer risk assessment and gene-environment interactions in cancer epidemiology and were crucial in the development of molecular cancer epidemiology as a mature discipline.
 

One aspect particularly important of Dr. Harris’ studies is chronic inflammation. He showed that increased levels of circulating interleukin 6, interleukin 8, C-reactive protein, and MBL2 (all markers of inflammation) were associated with risk, diagnosis, and prognosis of lung cancer patients. He identified microRNAs associated with both diagnosis and prognosis of lung cancer and the diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic outcome of colon cancer. In addition, he was first to discover that expression of combinations of microRNAs and protein-coding genes (e.g., inflammation-related) produced by human lung, colon and esophageal carcinomas are robust cancer prognostic classifiers. These studies identified early-stage lung and colon cancers that have poor prognoses due to the likelihood of undetected micrometastasis. In parallel to these biomarker studies, he and collaborators investigated inflammatory mediators in cellular and animal model studies and in clinical studies.

Dr. Harris’ exceptional record of research accomplishment includes over 60,000 citations, and H-factor of over 115. He was awarded the AACR Princess Takamatsu Award, the Ochsner Award relating smoking and health from the American College of Physicians, the Deichmann Award from the International Union of Toxicology, and the Distinguished Service Medal - the highest honor of the U.S. Public Health Service. He has served in leadership posts in the scientific community, such as chairman of the Program Committee of the AACR Annual Meeting; member of the AACR’s Board of Directors, chairman of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Scientific Program Advisory Board for the Keystone Symposia of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is also the editor-in chief of the journal Carcinogenesis. He has successfully mentored more than one hundred young scientists and received the NCI Outstanding Mentor Award.