Nominations for the 2013 award are now open.
Nomination Deadline Extended: 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, May 31, 2013.
- View the list of prior recipients.
- Learn more about the 2012 recipient, Dr. Kornelia Polyak
The Award and Lecture
The AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, 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 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, 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 10, 1963.
- The award will be presented to an individual investigator.
- Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.
Nominations for this Award are now open.
Nomination Procedure and Instructions
Nominations must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 4:00 p.m. United States Eastern Time on Friday, May 31, 2013. Paper nominations will not be accepted. Full nomination instructions and program guidelines are available through the link at Program Guidelines and Nomination Instructions
. Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader here
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.
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
2012 Award Recipient
Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
Department of Medical Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Dr. Kornelia Polyak gave her award lecture titled Breast Tumor Evolution: Drivers and Clinical Relevance on Thursday, December 6, 2012, 11:30 a.m. at the 35th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium was held December 4-8, 2012, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. She was honored for her influential research in breast cancer. Her seminal discoveries of the role of microenvironmental alterations in human cancer, sustained excellence in defining the molecular basis of the malignant progression of human breast tumors, and translating these insights into new therapeutic approaches. Dr. Polyak is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading breast cancer researchers. Her broad knowledge, ideas and conceptual approaches to breast cancer research and treatment have changed a number of paradigms.
As an independent investigator, Dr. Polyak established an exciting research program dedicated to the molecular analysis of human breast cancer. Her lab has been at the forefront of developing and applying genomic technologies to the study of human breast cancer and emphasizing the importance of analyzing all cell types composed in tumor. She was a pioneer of Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) and its use for small numbers of cells. Her lab was among the first to compare the genome-wide gene expression and genetic profiles of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive breast tumors, finding that tumor epithelial cells in in situ and invasive lesions are molecularly indistinguishable.
Dr. Polyak is also at the forefront of studies characterizing stem cells from normal and neoplastic breast tissues and defining their roles in tumorigenesis. Based on the comprehensive analyses of more differentiated and stem-like cells in breast tumors, her group determined that these two cell populations are genetically divergent and that stem cell-specific genes correlate with decreased distant metastasis-free survival. This study received wide attention as it has tried to question the simplistic view of the cancer stem cell model. More recently, Dr. Polyak investigated the dependency of stem cell-like and more differentiated breast cancer cells on specific genes by conducting a large-scale shRNA screen.
Dr. Polyak’s research has inspired the breast cancer research field by making inroads into areas that had not previously been on the radar.
Dr. Polyak obtained her medical degree in 1991 from the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School in Szeged Hungary and her doctorate in 1995 from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences/Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Dr. Polyak completed her postdoctoral training in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in the laboratory of Drs. Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler. She joined the faculty of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in 1998 as an assistant professor of medicine and was promoted to full professor in 2011.
Dr. Polyak has received several awards including the Julienne Rachele Prize (1995, Cornell University), the W. Barry Wood Jr. Research Prize (1998, Johns Hopkins University), Kimmel Scholar Award (1999, Sidney Kimmel Foundation), V Scholar award (2001, V Foundation), the Tisch Family Outstanding Achievement Award (2005, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Research Award (2006, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute). In 2007, she received the 27th Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement, and in 2011, the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (MSKCC). Dr. Polyak was elected to the American Association of Clinical Investigation and to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2008, and to the AACR Board of Directors in 2010.