Susan B. Horwitz, PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York
Dr. Horwitz has had a continuing interest in natural products as a source of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Her contributions span several decades of research and encompass agents which have served as prototypes for some of our most important drugs that are currently in clinical use. She made major contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of action of camptothecin, the epipodophyllotoxins and bleomycin. However, Dr. Horwitz’s most seminal research contribution has been in the development of Taxol®, a drug isolated from the yew plant, Taxus brevifolia.
Dr. Horwitz and her co-workers demonstrated that Taxol®’s antimimotic effects were due to a novel interaction between the drug and microtubules that resulted in stabilized polymers. Dr. Horwitz’s pioneering investigations and perceptive analysis identified Taxol® as a prototype for a new class of antitumor drugs. Although no one was interested in Taxol® when she began her studies, today it is an important antitumor drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast and lung carcinomas. Dr. Horwitz's research played an important role in encouraging the development of Taxol® by the National Cancer Institute. The drug has since been given to over a million patients.
2019 Gairdner International Award, Gairdner Foundation, Toronto, Ontario2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association for Cancer Research2008 American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor2006 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine2006 Bristol-Meyers Squibb Cancer Distinguished Achievement Award2005 Warren Alpert Foundation Award, Harvard Medical School2005 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC2004 Mayors Award for Excellence in Science and Technology2002-2003 President, AACR2002 M.D. (h.c.), Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles, France1996 C. Chester Stock Award, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center1994 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences1994 Experimental Therapeutics Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics1992 Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award, American Association for Cancer Research1987-1990 Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research1963 PhD, Brandeis University