Seventh Annual Award Recipient
Alexander Levitzki, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Wolfson Family Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry
Unit of Cellular Signaling
Department of Biological Chemistry
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Levitzki delivered his award lecture titled Eradicating Tumors by Targeting Non-Viral Vectors Carrying PolylC
, at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony and lecture was held on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2013
page to learn more about the Annual Meeting.
The Award and Lecture
The AACR and its Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group established this award in 2007 to recognize the importance of chemistry to advancements in cancer research. The award will be given for outstanding, novel and significant chemistry research, which has led to important contributions to the fields of basic cancer research, translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, the prevention of cancer or the treatment of patients with cancer. Such research may include, but is not limited to, drug discovery and design; structural biology; proteomics, metabolomics and biological mass spectrometry; chemical aspects of carcinogenesis; imaging agents and radiotherapeutics; and chemical biology.
The winner of the Seventh Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research gave a 50-minute lecture during the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, DC, USA (April 6-10, 2013), received a commemorative award, a $10,000 honorarium, and received support for the winner and a spouse to attend the Annual Meeting.
- Candidacy is open to all 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. Two or more individuals may be selected to share the award when their investigations are closely related in subject matter and have resulted in work worthy of an award.
- Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.
- Selection of the award winner will be made on the outstanding quality, novelty and significance of the candidates' chemistry research and its important contributions to cancer research. No regard will be given to race, gender, nationality, geographic location or religious or political views.
- Prior recipients of the AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award are not eligible to be nominated for research previously recognized by the Cain Award.
Nominations are closed.
Nominations may be 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.
Nominators are asked to maintain the confidentiality of the nomination process and to refrain from informing the candidate about the nomination.
There is no restriction on the number of candidates who may be nominated by any individual scientist. There is no restriction on the number of nominators who may write nomination letters or who may sign a single nomination letter on behalf of a candidate.
If two or more candidates are nominated to share the award, a curriculum vitae and full publication history for all candidates must be submitted along with a combined letter of recommendation that fulfills the above criteria and clearly outlines how the work of the individuals is related and is worthy of the award.
Candidates will be considered by a Selection Committee of international cancer leaders appointed by the president of the AACR. The committee will consider all nominations as they have been submitted; the committee may not combine submitted nominations, add a new candidate to a submitted nomination, or otherwise make alterations to the submitted nominations. After careful deliberations by the committee, its recommendations will be forwarded to the Executive Committee of the AACR for final consideration and decision. Selection of the award winner will be made on the basis of the candidate's outstanding, novel and significant chemistry research related to cancer. No regard will be given to age, race, gender, nationality, geographic location or religious or political views.
Generously supported by Ash Stevens, Inc.
Linda Stokes, Program Associate
American Association for Cancer Research
17th Floor, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
Sixth Annual Recipient
Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Chemistry
Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Dr. Fesik (center) delivered his award lecture titled, Drugging the Undruggable Using Fragment-Based Methods, during the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago, IL. Dr. Fesik received his award from Dr. Gregory L. Verdine, AACR Selection Committee chairperson (left) and Dr. Stephen A. Munk of Ash Stevens Inc. (right).
Dr. Stephen W. Fesik has made several important contributions in cancer research. He is renowned for his invention of “SAR by NMR”, a revolutionary technology that utilizes nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to discover small molecules that have the potential to function as protein inhibitors. These molecules are identified based on their binding affinity to various protein binding sites. Upon identification of these molecules, they are subsequently linked together, resulting in the formation of larger, more potent inhibitors of the bound protein, a technique refered to as fragment-based drug discovery. Currently, Fesik’s research group has been utilizing this technique to identify K-Ras and other inhibitors. Notably, this process has also led to the creation of various companies including Astex that has adopted Dr. Fesik’s technique and currently perform“SAR by X-ray” as a means to discover plausible cancer drugs.
In addition to his discoveries of SAR by NMR and contributions to Fragment-Based Drug Discovery, Dr. Fesik is also acclaimed for his extensive studies involving the determination of protein structures for several cancer-related proteins including those within the Bcl-2 family of proteins. This work has helped contribute to our understanding of cellular apoptosis, the molecular mechanisms governing the process, and the plausibility of exploiting such a biological principle as a cancer therapy.
Importantly, his work on the Bcl-2 family of proteins has led to the development of the BH3 mimetic ABT-263 (Navitoclax), a very potent Bcl-2 family inhibitor, capable of inducing tumor cell death. ABT-263 is currently in human clinical trials and holds tremendous promise for cancer patients.
Dr. Fesik has served as a member of multiple journal Editorial Boards, including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Cell, Oncogene, Journal of Biomolecular NMR, Biophysical Journal, Chemical Biology & Drug Design, ChemMedChem, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Screening. Dr. Fesik also contributes to the Highlights Advisory Panel for Nature Reviews Cancer. He has authored more than 240 papers and has served on the Keystone Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Directors as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center. Currently he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Aileron Therapeutics and the Board of Directors of Bruker Corporation and Inhibikase Therapeutics. He is a recent 2010 AAAS Fellow and has obtained numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from EAS (2003), the SBS Technology Innovation Award (2010), and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2010).