33rd Annual Award Recipient
Roger S. Lo, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Lo delivered his award lecture titled How Melanoma Escapes From BRAF Inhibition
, 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 for more information on the Annual Meeting.
The Award and Lecture
Through the generous contribution of an anonymous donor, AACR established this award in 1979 to give recognition to a young investigator on the basis of meritorious achievement in cancer research. In accordance with the wishes of the donor, the recipient must be no more than 40 years of age by the time the award is received.
The winner of the 33rd Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research received an honorarium of $5,000, presented a 50-minute lecture, and was given full support for the winner and a guest to attend the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, in Washington, DC, USA (April 6-10, 2013.)
- 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.
- Candidates must not be more than 40 years of age by the time the award is received. For the 2013 award, a candidate's date of birth must be on or after April 9, 1972.
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.
Candidates for the award will be considered by a prestigious international Selection Committee of renowned 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 determination.
Selection of the award winner will be made on the basis of the candidate's meritorious achievements in cancer research. No regard will be given to race, gender, nationality, or religious or political view.
Linda Stokes, Program Associate
American Association for Cancer Research
17th Floor, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
32nd Annual Recipient
Yibin Kang, Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Biology
Department of Molecular Biology
Dr. Yibin Kang (left) delivered his award lecture entitled, Decoding Tumor-Stromal Interactions in Breast Cancer Metastasis, during the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago, IL. He received his award from Selection Committee member, Dr. Myles A. Brown.
Dr. Yibin Kang has revolutionized our molecular understanding of cancer metastasis. Dr. Kang’s research accomplishments include elucidating some of the mechanisms by which cancer cells are able to migrate from their primary tumor location to various secondary (metastatic) regions throughout the body. In this regard, Dr. Kang has focused his attention on defining the mechanisms by which breast cancer cells are able to traverse and populate various vital organs, such as bone and lung, which renders surgical, chemical, or radiation based treatments less likely to be successful. The ability of tumor cells to spread and replicate within the body remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths and a major hurdle for achieving the cure for cancer patients.
To counteract this problem, Dr. Kang has focused on how breast cancer cells are able to manipulate host tissues in order to form secondary tumors throughout the body, particularly in the the bone. Through the use of mouse models, genomics and various imaging and molecular biology techniques, he has discovered that tumor-derived proteins, such as JAGGED1, are capable of binding cell surface receptors, such as Notch, on bone cells. This interaction in turn triggers the activation of bone resorbing osteoclasts, which degrade existing bone to release cancer-stimulating growth factor molecules such as TGF-beta to foster the expansion of metastatic cancer cells in the bone. Most recently, his group has expanded on this principle by discovering that yet another protein VCAM-1, known to be upregulated in cancer metastasis, is capable of recruiting precursor osteoclast cells into the context of indolent micrometastasis to allow the development of overt metastatic lesions in bone.
In addition to his prominent contribution to the field of bone metastasis, Dr. Kang has also pioneered the development of several new experimental technologies to advance the study of tumor metastasis. He developed new computational methods to analyze clinical genomic data of human breast cancer, leading to the identification of metadherin as a crucial breast cancer gene with a dual role in metastasis and chemoresistance. He was among the first in the field to apply metabolomic and proteomic approaches to the study of cancer metastasis. His proteomic analysis of the miR-200 family in metastasis established a new role of this class of noncoding RNAs in promoting metastatic colonization through influencing the secretion of proteins from tumor cells. Most recently, Dr. Kang has initiated studies to reveal the role of normal mammary gland stem cell regulators in the development of metastatic diseases. Collectively these studies have enabled researchers to better understand the molecular processes and environments that tumor cells use to populate a distant organ, which leads to cancer patient mortality in many cases. By understanding the steps and the genes required for cancer spreading, cancer researchers will be better equipped to design personalized therapeutics that target key cellular players in the process such as Jagged1, Notch, metadherin, and VCAM-1 among others.
Dr. Kang received his bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1995. After completing his graduate study at Duke University in 2000, Dr. Kang became an Irvington Institute postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Joan Massagué at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and pioneered a functional genomic approach to elucidate mechanism of breast cancer metastasis. Dr. Kang joined the faculty of Princeton University as an assistant professor of molecular biology in 2004 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010. Dr. Kang has published over 70 original research articles, most of which are in elite-tier journals, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the AIMMASBMR John Haddad Young Investigator Award (2004), the Paget Foundation Young Investigator Award (2005), the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award (2005), and the Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar Award (2006). He was selected in 2009 by the Champalimaud Foundation in Portugal for long-term support in metastasis research and was the recipient of the inaugural Oudang Distinguished Lectureship Award of the Korean Pharmaceutical Society in 2010. Dr. Kang was the recipient of the 2011 Vicek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Sciences, a prestigious award honoring foreign-born artists and scientists who have demonstrated exceptional creativity and originality in the early stages of their careers in the United States.