10th Annual Award Recipient
Harold L. Moses, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology
Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Molecular Biology
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Vanderbilt School of Medicine
Dr. Moses received his award during the Opening Ceremony at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was held on Sunday, April 7, 2013. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2013
page for more information on the Annual Meeting.
- View the list of all past recipients.
The AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was established and first given in 2004 to honor an individual who has made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.
The Tenth Annual Award was presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, DC, USA (April 6-10, 2013). The recipient must be present to receive the award unless otherwise unable to do so because of health restrictions or other serious conflicts.
The recipient received an honorarium, a commemorative award, and support for the winner and a guest to attend the AACR Annual Meeting.
- Nominations may be made on behalf of individuals who are living at the time of the nomination.
- Candidates need not be members of the AACR.
- Candidates need not be currently engaged in cancer research.
- There are no restrictions with regard to race, gender, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.
- The award will be presented to an individual investigator.
- Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.
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.
Candidates will be considered by a Selection Committee of international cancer leaders appointed by the President of the AACR. 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 significant, fundamental contributions to cancer research (whether in research, leadership or mentorship); the lasting impact of these contributions on the cancer field; and the demonstration of a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.
American Association for Cancer Research
Linda Stokes, Program Associate
American Association for Cancer Research
17th Floor, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
Ninth Annual Recipient
Beatrice Mintz, Ph.D.
Professor and Jack Schultz Chair in Basic Science
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Dr. Beatrice Mintz (right) received her award from Selection Committee Chairperson, Dr. Margaret Spitz (left) during the Opening Ceremony at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Beatrice Mintz represents one of the quintessential minds in the fields of developmental cancer biology and genetics. Her contributions to the field of cancer research are unparalleled. Her fundamental research and discoveries regarding chimeric and transgenic mice, epigenetics, progenitor cells, and tumor microenvironments throughout her continuing career have stimulated countless fields of cancer research and have revolutionized the techniques and tools available with which to study the molecular genetics and mechanisms of cancer.
Dr. Mintz was the first to pioneer the notion of a chimeric or transgenic mouse, along with the idea that an expansion of an initial population of cells (stem cells) persists throughout development and life and that deviation from this cellular expansion and differentiation program may contribute to cancer onset. Dr. Mintz hypothesized that when cells lose their ability to differentiate into various cell types, they become prone to intracellular mistakes and mutations that have the potential to cause them to replicate uncontrollably resulting in carcinogenesis. These early studies involving chimeras also suggested, for the first time, the existence of epigenetic modifications capable of altering gene functions, resulting in observable phenotypic changes.
This idea was first hypothesized when Dr. Mintz observed that nonchimeric animals sometimes displayed coat color patterns reminiscent of chimeric animals that presented with two-color coat patterns. This notion of posttranslational modifications of DNA and proteins is now understood to be definitive and represents a tremendously vast and important field of cancer research.
In addition to these monumental scientific discoveries, Dr. Mintz was also the first to suggest and prove the importance of a tumor cell microenvironment. Dr. Mintz discovered that the environment that a cell inhabits has a direct effect on cellular identity and function. She encountered this phenomenon, which is now widely accepted and understood, when transplanting teratocarcinoma cells into different normal, healthy embryos. Dr. Mintz discovered that upon transplanting the cancer cells into the normal embryo, they no longer exhibited the cancer properties they possessed
previously. This suggested that not only does the environment of a cancer cell assist in dictating its survival and aggressiveness, but also that cancer is programmable and capable of being manipulated, a theme that has persisted in cancer research to this day.
Subsequent and most recent studies from Dr. Mintz’s group have centered on generating and characterizing transgenic mouse models of malignant melanoma using novel DNA transfer techniques. The resulting mice are capable of mimicking the human progression of the disease by presenting with variable melanomas of the skin along with the capability of progressing to metastatic disease. Dr. Mintz’s group was the first to create such mouse models that are of tremendous importance and value, considering the ever-growing incidence of cutaneous melanomas.
Collectively, these ground-breaking studies helped to create the foundation of cancer research, not only through the discovered principles, but also through the report and optimization of tools and techniques needed to perform such studies. Without seminal studies such as those of Dr. Mintz, the landscape of cancer research today would undoubtedly be drastically different. Dr. Mintz has always been several steps ahead of the field, as she has repeatedly identified and characterized crucial biological processes and events essential for cancer survival prior to their wide acceptance and support. Throughout her lifetime and continued academic career, she has repeatedly left indelible marks on the field of cancer research.
Dr. Mintz is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and this past year she was awarded the Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Previously, she has received countless awards for her achievements including the inaugural March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology and the Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine, among others. She has participated in numerous editorial boards, received several honorary degrees, participated in many organizations, and has authored more than 170 original peer-reviews in cancer research and biomedical science.