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AACR Honors Dr. Elaine Fuchs With 2019 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has awarded the 59th AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award to Elaine Fuchs, PhD. The award was presented during the AACR Annual Meeting 2019, held March 29-April 3, 2019, in Atlanta.

The AACR and Eli Lilly and Company established the AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award in 1961 to honor Dr. G.H.A. Clowes, who was a founding member of the AACR and a research director of Eli Lilly. This prestigious award serves to honor Dr. Clowes’ legacy by recognizing an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research.

Fuchs was recognized for her paradigm-shifting work dedicated to characterizing how normal skin stem cells maintain homeostasis, participate in wound repair, and contribute to cancer onset and progression. Collectively, her seminal research has greatly contributed to the understanding of mammalian skin, skin stem cells, and skin-related diseases, particularly proinflammatory disorders and cancer. She delivered her award lecture, titled ‘stem Cells in Wound Repair, Inflammation and Cancer,” on Monday, April 1, at the Georgia World Congress Center in conjunction with the AACR Annual Meeting 2019.

Fuchs is the Rebecca C. Lancefield professor and head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University in New York, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“Dr. Fuchs is an extraordinary scientist, contributing knowledge not only to cancer research, but to other disciplines including cell biology, genetics, and dermatology,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Her pioneering work on the biology of skin stem cells and their behavior in human diseases has had far-reaching implications in these fields, and the AACR is honored to recognize her with this award.”

Fuchs is highly regarded for her studies involving reverse genetics geared toward understanding the fundamental processes governing both normal and abnormal skin development and function. Among her important research discoveries has been the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of skin stem cells to produce the epidermis and its appendages, including hair follicles as well as sweat and oil glands. She has also extensively defined how normal skin stem cell biology can be deregulated in skin cancers and other hyperproliferative disorders of the skin.

Fuchs was named one of the inaugural Fellows of the AACR Academy in 2013. She has received many additional honors throughout her career, including the McEwen Award for Innovation (2017), the Vanderbilt Prize (2017), the E.B. Wilson Award (2015), the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research (2014), the Kligman-Frost Leadership Award from the Society of Investigative Dermatology (2013), the Pasarow Award for Cancer Research (2013), the March of Dimes Prize (2012), the Albany Prize in Medicine (2011), the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship (2010), the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award (2010), and the National Medal of Science (2009). She is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (2010), American Philosophical Society (2005), National Academy of Sciences (1996), Institute of Medicine (1994), and American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994).

Fuchs received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her doctorate at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Fuchs was the Amgen professor of basic sciences at the University of Chicago before joining Rockefeller University in 2002.