American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research

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Michael R. Stratton, M.D., Ph.D.

2013 Award Recipient

Michael R. Stratton, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cambridge
UK

 


Dr. Stratton will give his award lecture titled Signatures of Mutational Processes in Human Cancer on Thursday, December 12, 2013, 11:30 a.m. in Hall D at the 36th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium will be held December 10-14, 2013, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

  • View a list of the past award recipients.
  • Learn more about the 2013 Award Receipient, Dr. Michael R. Stratton.

The Award and Lecture

The AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research, supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, has been established to recognize outstanding science that has inspired or has the potential to inspire new perspectives on the etiology, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.

Highlights of Stratton’s accomplishments include discovery of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 and somatic mutations of the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma and other cancers. He proposed the bold concept of a Cancer Genome Project that subsequently led to founding of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, which aims to sequence the genomes of thousands of human cancers in the next five to ten years.

Dr. Stratton led the group that mapped and identified BRCA2 at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, U.K. The breakthrough discovery of BRCA2 by Stratton directly transformed the lives of thousands of women in families with a history of breast cancer through predictive testing and prevention. Subsequent studies by his research team led to discovery of the first low-penetrance breast cancer predisposition gene, CHEK2, followed by identification of additional low-penetrance breast cancer predisposition genes, ATM, BRIP1 and PALB2 andthe mapping and positional cloning of susceptibility genes underlying other types of cancer.

Following the success of human genome sequencing, he shifted his interests from genetic susceptibility to cancer to understanding somatic mutations, and moved to the UK genome center at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to implement his vision employing genome-wide sequencing to identify somatic mutations in human cancers. This led to the discovery of somatic mutations in BRAF, a serine threonine kinase mutated in 60 percent of malignant melanomas. This remarkable discovery has led to the development of BRAF inhibitors, which provide hope for patients with melanoma. In addition, Stratton and his colleagues discovered intragenic activating mutations of ERBB2 in non-small cell lung cancer,  driver mutations of a series of genes implicated in chromatin regulation including UTX, JARID1C, SETD2, ARID1B, NCOR1, SMARCD1, PBRM1 and other genes including MAP3K1, CASP8 and TBX3.

Dr. Stratton conducted large-scale resequencing of human cancer genomes, initially sampling a large fragment of genomic DNA constituting the coding exons of the complete protein kinase family in 210 cancers. The resultant identification of more than 1,000 mutations demonstrated that patterns of somatic point mutations in cancer genomes are highly variable and established the concepts of “driver” and “passenger” mutations. In recent years, Stratton and his colleagues have used powerful second-generation sequencing, and the outcomes of these studies have provided great insights into the complexity of patterns of rearrangement and point mutation in solid tumor genomes leading to new ideas concerning mutagenesis in human cancer.

Another major accomplishment of Stratton, and a major contribution to society, is the creation of the COSMIC (Catalog of Somatic Mutations in Cancer) database, the only comprehensive database with annotations of about 200,000 somatic mutations in cancer, gathered from scientific literature.
 

Dr. Stratton  obtained his medical degree from Oxford University and Guys Hospital, trained as an histopathologist at the Hammersmith and Maudsley Hospitals and obtained a doctorate in molecular biology at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. After joining the Sanger Institute in 2000, he was promoted to deputy director in 2007 and was appointed director in 2010. He was awarded the Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award in 2010 and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for his work on cancer genetics and genomics in 2013. Stratton is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society and the European Molecular Biology Organization.

SPOTLIGHT

Michael R. Stratton, M.D., Ph.D.

2013 Award Recipient

Michael R. Stratton, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Cambridge
UK

 


Dr. Stratton will give his award lecture titled Signatures of Mutational Processes in Human Cancer, on Thursday, December 12, 2013, 11:30 a.m. in Hall D at the 36th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium will be held December 10-14, 2013, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas


Dr. Michael R. Stratton is honored for his outstanding contributions to cancer research through groundbreaking contributions in the area of cancer genomics and genetics.

Highlights of Stratton’s accomplishments include discovery of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 and somatic mutations of the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma and other cancers. He proposed the bold concept of a Cancer Genome Project that subsequently led to founding of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, which aims to sequence the genomes of thousands of human cancers in the next five to 10 years.

Dr. Stratton led the group that mapped and identified BRCA2 at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, U.K. The breakthrough discovery of BRCA2 by Stratton directly transformed the lives of thousands of women in families with a history of breast cancer through predictive testing and prevention. Subsequent studies by his research team led to discovery of the first low-penetrance breast cancer predisposition gene, CHEK2, followed by identification of additional low-penetrance breast cancer predisposition genes, ATM, BRIP1 and PALB2 and the mapping and positional cloning of susceptibility genes underlying other types of cancer.
 

Following the success of human genome sequencing, he shifted his interests from genetic susceptibility to cancer to understanding somatic mutations, and moved to the UK genome center at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to implement his vision of employing genome-wide sequencing to identify somatic mutations in human cancers. This led to the discovery of somatic mutations in BRAF, a serine threonine kinase mutated in 60 percent of malignant melanomas. This remarkable discovery has led to the development of BRAF inhibitors, which provide hope for patients with melanoma. In addition, Stratton and his colleagues discovered intragenic activating mutations of ERBB2 in non-small cell lung cancer, driver mutations of a series of genes implicated in chromatin regulation including UTX, JARID1C, SETD2, ARID1B, NCOR1, SMARCD1, PBRM1 and other genes including MAP3K1, CASP8, and TBX3.

Dr. Stratton conducted large-scale resequencing of human cancer genomes, initially sampling a large fragment of genomic DNA constituting the coding exons of the complete protein kinase family in 210 cancers. The resultant identification of more than 1,000 mutations demonstrated that patterns of somatic point mutations in cancer genomes are highly variable and established the concepts of “driver” and “passenger” mutations. In recent years, Stratton and his colleagues have used powerful second-generation sequencing, and the outcomes of these studies have provided great insights into the complexity of patterns of rearrangement and point mutation in solid tumor genomes leading to new ideas concerning mutagenesis in human cancer.
 

Another major accomplishment of Stratton, and a major contribution to society, is the creation of the COSMIC (Catalog of Somatic Mutations in Cancer) database, the only comprehensive database with annotations of about 1,600,000 somatic mutations in cancer, gathered from scientific literature.

Dr. Stratton obtained his medical degree from Oxford University and Guys Hospital, trained as a histopathologist at the Hammersmith and Maudsley Hospitals, London and obtained a doctorate in molecular biology at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. After joining the Sanger Institute in 2000, he was promoted to deputy director in 2007 and was appointed director in 2010. He was awarded the 2010 Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award, the 2013 AACR GHA Clowes Award and the 2013 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for his work on cancer genetics and genomics. Stratton is an elected fellow of the Royal Society and the European Molecular Biology Organization.