American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen®

AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen®

Nominations for the 2014 award are now open.

Nomination Deadline: 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

  •  Learn more about the 2013 recipient, Dr. Jason S. Carroll
  •  View the list of prior recipients.

The Award and Lecture

The AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen®, recognizes an investigator of no more than 50 years of age whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of breast cancer. Such work may involve any discipline across the continuum of biomedical research, including basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological studies. 

The recipient of the award will receive a $10,000 honorarium and present a 25-minute lecture at the 37th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium will be held December 9-13, 2014, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. 


  • All cancer researchers who are affiliated with any institution involved in cancer research, cancer medicine, or cancer-related biomedical science anywhere in the world may be nominated. Such institutions include those in academia, industry, or government.
  • Candidates must be no more than 50 years of age at the time the award is received, i.e. born on or after December 12, 1964.
  • The award will be presented to an individual investigator.
  • Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.

Nomination Procedure and Instructions

Nominations are now open.

Nominations must be emailed to by 4:00 p.m. United States Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  Full nomination instructions and program guidelines are available at the following link: Program Guidelines and Nomination Instructions (get Adobe Reader here).

Selection Process

Candidates will be considered by an Award Selection Committee appointed by the president of the AACR. After careful deliberation 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 scientific accomplishments without regard to race, gender, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.

Susan G. Komen® 

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. For more than 25 years, Komen for the Cure has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer - transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.



Linda Stokes, Program Associate

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


Jason S. Carroll, Ph.D.

2013 Award Recipient

Jason S. Carroll, Ph.D.
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
University of Cambridge
Robinson Way, Cambridge, UK



Dr. Jason Carroll is recognized for his work on estrogen receptor (ER) biology in breast cancer that has led to the identification of how ER interacts with DNA, what proteins are used, and what occurs during drug resistance. Dr. Carroll’s work has been applicable to both breast cancer and prostate cancer, as his discoveries have had an impact in understanding the mechanisms of action of ER and AR. Furthermore, this work not only redefined the paradigms of nuclear receptors in cancer, but has also led to the development of novel technologies. 

As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Carroll developed and applied new genomic tools to show estrogen receptor switches genes on and off from distal enhancers and for ER to bind to DNA it requires a protein called FoxA1 as a pioneer factor. This study was the first to link pioneer factors and nuclear receptors, providing the basis for the current paradigms, whereby ER in breast and AR in prostate require FoxA1 and other pioneer factors for association with DNA. This redefined how researchers in the cancer field address the transcriptional mechanisms of nuclear receptors.

Dr. Carroll’s subsequent work provided the first genome-wide map of ER binding and transcriptional activity. It provided insight into the global ER interactions with the DNA in breast cancer cell populations, revealing additional proteins that ER utilizes to interact with chromatin. These two manuscripts redefined the transcriptional mechanisms of nuclear receptors, showing ER (and subsequently shown for AR in prostate cancer) mediate gene expression by forming chromatin loops between regulatory enhancer elements and the promoters of target genes. It also revealed the associated factors that facilitate ER and AR association with inaccessible compacted DNA in chromatin, permitting nuclear receptor-mediated gene expression.

Additional highlights for Dr. Carroll’s lab include the work that showed that tamoxifen must repress ERBB2 by using a novel repressor called Pax2 in order to work and that a breakdown in this repression pathway can contribute to tamoxifen resistance. In a separate body of work, Dr. Carroll’s laboratory’s findings provided a functional explanation for the observation that retinoids have beneficial effects in ER+ breast cancer patients. Dr. Carroll’s laboratory was also the first to implicate FoxA1 in nuclear receptor pathways, which provided the motivation for development of FoxA1 inhibitors for therapeutic intervention in drug resistant breast cancer patients.

Dr. Carroll obtained his B.Sc. (1st Hons) at University of Melbourne, Australia, and then carried out his Ph.D. studies with Professor Rob Sutherland at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. In 2002, Dr. Carroll began his postdoctoral work in the lab of Professor Myles Brown at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. His work, outlined the transcriptional control of estrogen receptor, resulted in publications in the journals Cell and Nature Genetics. He was promoted to instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School where he held that position from 2004-2006. Continuing with his interests in breast cancer research, Dr. Carroll set up his own research group at the Cancer Research UK, University of Cambridge in 2006 and in 2010 was promoted from junior to senior group leader. He is currently a senior group leader at Cancer Research UK, University of Cambridge and a fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge.

He is a senior editor at Molecular Cancer Research and on the editorial board of several journals including Cancer Research, Nucleic Acids Research, Endocrinology, Molecular Endocrinology, BMC Cancer, Open Biology and Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Carroll is an EMBO Young Investigator and a recipient of an ERC Starting grant.

Dr. Carroll has received several awards including the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Symposium Award (2005); British Association for Cancer Research: Frank Rose Young Scientist of the Year Award (2009); EMBO Young Investigator Award (2010) and Cancer Research UK Future Leaders Award (2012).