This award is presented for outstanding, novel, and significant chemistry research, which has led to important contributions to the fields of basic cancer research, translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, the prevention of cancer, or the treatment of patients with cancer.
12th Award Recipient
John A. Katzenellenbogen, PhD
Swanlund Professor of Chemistry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Katzenellenbogen delivered his award lecture titled "Nuclear Receptors, PET Imaging, and Advances in Understanding Therapy Resistance in Breast and Prostate Cancers" at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The award presentation and lecture was held Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the McCormick Place North/South Convention Center.
The AACR and its Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group established the Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research Award in 2007 to recognize the importance of chemistry in advancing cancer research. The award is presented for outstanding, novel chemistry research that has led to significant contributions to the fields of basic or translational cancer research, cancer diagnosis, prevention, or clinical cancer treatments and therapeutics.
John A. Katzenellenbogen, PhD, is honored for his seminal work on the development of chemical and biophysical tools to study the estrogen receptor, which is an important biomarker and a target for endocrine therapy in breast cancer. We also honor his outstanding work in developing PET imaging agents which are used in the clinic to diagnose prostate and breast cancer, and in developing new endocrine therapy agents. Dr. Katzenellenbogen’s creativity and unwavering commitment to the cancer field truly embody the spirit of the award.
Dr. Katzenellenbogen is the Swanlund professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his research team have made major contributions to improve the diagnosis and therapy of breast and prostate cancers, and to illuminate the structure and function of nuclear receptors. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received his AB, MS, and PhD in chemistry.
Dr. Katzenellenbogen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Paul C. Aebersold Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine (1995), the Cope Scholar Award (1999), the E. B. Herschberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances (2007), and the Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest (2008) from the American Chemical Society, the Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endocrine Society (2016, shared with Benita Katzenellenbogen), and the President’s Award from the Society for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences (2017). He is a cofounder of Radius Health Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on women’s health. In his professional role in academia, Dr. Katzenellenbogen has trained over 130 PhDs, MD-PhDs, and postdoctoral fellows.
- 2017: Craig M. Crews
- 2016: James Bradner
- 2015: Philip S. Low
- 2014: Dale L. Boger
- 2013: Alexander Levitzki
- 2012: Stephen W. Fesik
- 2011: Gregory L. Verdine
- 2010: Stuart L. Schreiber
- 2009: F. Peter Guengerich
- 2008: Steven R. Tannenbaum
- 2007: Samuel J. Danishefsky