American Association for Cancer Research

Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research

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Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.  17th Annual Award Recipient
Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor
Head of Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development
The Rockefeller University
New York, New York

Dr. Fuchs will deliver her award lecture titled Stem Cells in Silence, Action, and Cancer at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 in San Diego, Calif. The award ceremony and lecture will be held on Sunday, April 6, 2014, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the San Diego Convention Center. Visit the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 page for more information.


The Award and Lecture

The prestigious Pezcoller Foundation–AACR International Award for Cancer Research was established in 1997 to annually recognize a scientist of international renown:

  • who has made a major scientific discovery in basic cancer research OR who has made significant contributions to translational cancer research;
  • who continues to be active in cancer research and has a record of recent, noteworthy publications; and
  • whose ongoing work holds promise for continued substantive contributions to progress in the field of cancer.

The award is intended to honor an individual scientist. However, more than one scientist may be co-nominated and selected to share the award when their investigations are closely related in subject matter and have resulted in work that is worthy of the award.

The award consists of an unrestricted honorarium of €75,000, commemorative plaque, and full support to the recipient and a guest to attend the AACR Annual Meeting. The recipient of the 17th Annual Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research will give a 50-minute award lecture at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014 in San Diego, Calif., U.S.A. (April 5-9, 2014).

Eligibility

  • Eligible candidates are cancer researchers affiliated with institutions in academia, industry, or government that are involved in cancer research, cancer medicine, or cancer-related biomedical science anywhere in the world.
  • Institutions or organizations are not eligible for the award.
  • Receipt of other major awards does not preclude a candidate from eligibility for the award.
  • No regard shall be given to race, gender, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.

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.

Selection

Candidates for the award will be considered by a prestigious international Selection Committee of renowned cancer leaders appointed by the president of the AACR in consultation with the Council of the Pezcoller Foundation. 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 and the Council of the Pezcoller Foundation for final consideration and determination. Selection of the award winner will be made on the basis of the candidate's scientific accomplishments. No regard will be given to race, gender, nationality, or religious or political view.     

Responsibilities of the Award Recipient

The recipient will also present the Ninth Annual Stanley J. Korsmeyer Lecture in Padua, Italy, just prior to the official award ceremony in Trento, Italy, in May 2014. Remarks to be made during the ceremony must be delivered to the Pezcoller Foundation at least four weeks prior to allow sufficient time for translation into Italian. Should the recipient be unable to participate in either event, the award must be forfeited and may be presented instead to the alternate.

In the rare event that there are dual recipients of the award, the cash award will be shared equally between them, and the AACR Executive Committee will determine which of the two co-recipients will present the Pezcoller-AACR Award Lecture at the AACR Annual Meeting.

The Stanley J. Korsmeyer Lecture

Stanley J. Korsmeyer

This lectureship has been created through the Pezcoller Foundation, the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, and the AACR to honor the late Dr. Stanley J. Korsmeyer's outstanding and significant contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate programmed cell death and survival.

Dr. Korsmeyer’s numerous accomplishments in the cancer field led to his being named the recipient of the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research in 2004. He subsequently presented a lecture at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine – his last European lecture before his untimely death from cancer in 2005.

Through this lectureship, the foundation, the institute and the AACR wish to remember Dr. Korsmeyer in the manner he would have liked best – with the presentation of significant science and discussion among colleagues in cancer research. The lecture will be presented annually by the recipient of the Pezcoller-AACR Award, and will be delivered each year in May at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine in Padua, Italy.

The Pezcoller Foundation

Professor Alessio PezcollerThe Pezcoller Foundation was established in 1980 by Professor Alessio Pezcoller, a dedicated Italian surgeon who made important contributions to medicine during his career and who, through his foresight, vision, and generous gift in support of the formation of the foundation, stimulated others to join this effort in sustaining the work of the foundation. Professor Pezcoller has inspired scientists around the world to make significant advances in cancer research. In addition to sponsoring this prestigious award, the foundation also sponsors a series of symposia, publishes a journal, and supports awards for early-career scientists from Europe who have submitted highly rated abstracts for presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting.

 

Questions?

Linda Stokes, Program Associate
awards@aacr.org

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

SPOTLIGHT

Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D. 17th Annual Award Recipient
Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor
Head of Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development
The Rockefeller University
New York, New York

Dr. Elaine Fuchs is honored for her many contributions to the biology and molecular mechanisms underlying development and differentiation of the epidermis and its stem cells.  Her research has greatly advanced our understanding of epithelial biology and its cancers, and provides a foundation for developing reagents for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Fuchs illuminated how skin stem cells receive environmental signals, change gene expression and remodel cellular interactions to make epidermis and its appendages, and how processes of stem cell activation are deregulated in its cancers. Her studies have shaped our understanding of skin and its associated diseases, in particular cancers and other hyperproliferative disorders.

Dr. Fuchs constructed a framework for understanding how stem cells develop into epithelial tissues and exploited it to uncover links between aberrations in stem cells activation and cancer. She used molecular and genetic approaches to pioneer “reverse genetics,” the reverse of positional-cloning. Her transcriptional interests led to her discovery that Lef1 functions in the decision of skin stem cells to make HFs not epidermis. In elucidating how skin SC populations become activated to make tissues, Fuchs’ research demonstrated that defects in the activation step contribute to cancers. Her discoveries now make possible in months what was previously thought possible only in lower eukaryotes or cell culture. Its implications for cancer therapeutics are wide-ranging. 
 

Dr. Fuchs received her doctorate from Princeton University, and completed postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before becoming assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Chicago. She served as associate professor and professor at the University of Chicago in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. She was also named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is currently at Rockefeller University as professor and head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development.

Copious accolades have been awarded to Dr. Fuchs, including the Searle Scholar Award (1981-83), the Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984-89), the Richard Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences (2001), the Dickson Prize in Medicine (2004), the National Medal of Science (2009), L’Oreal UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2010), the Albany Prize in Medicine (2011), the Passano Award (2011), March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (2012), and the Pasarow Award for Cancer Research (2013). She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institutes of Medicine, the American Philosophical Society and a foreign member of EMBO.