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Cigall Kadoch, PhD, to Receive 2020 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is honoring Cigall Kadoch, PhD, with the 2020 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research.

Kadoch is assistant professor of pediatric oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and an Institute Member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She is being recognized for her pioneering biochemical and functional characterization of normal and aberrant SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes and her elucidation of the mechanisms by which the disruption of these complexes contributes to over one-fifth of human cancers.

The AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research was established by the AACR to recognize an early-career investigator for meritorious achievements in basic cancer research. The award is intended to recognize an individual who has not yet reached 46 years of age at the time of their award presentation.

Kadoch is world-renowned for her seminal work involving the biology of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, which are groups of proteins that influence how DNA is packaged, thereby controlling when and how strongly genes are expressed. In a landmark study early in her career, Kadoch discovered that more than 20 percent of cancers have mutations in genes encoding proteins that are part of mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes. Since then, the focus of her research has been on characterizing the role of each of the 29 potential subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes in normal tissue development and defining how mutated forms of these subunits contribute to cancer development. This work has effectively laid the foundation for new mechanistic approaches to developing anticancer therapeutics and has propelled Kadoch to launch a biomedical startup company, Foghorn Therapeutics, to further translate such discoveries from the bench to the bedside.

Kadoch has been a member of the AACR since 2004. She is a member of the AACR Women in Cancer Research constituency group as well as the AACR Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group and the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group. She has also received the AACR Thomas J. Bardos Young Investigator Award in 2006, the AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award in 2010, and the AACR-Aflac Inc. Scholar Award in 2013.

Kadoch has been recognized for her work with several scientific awards including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Prize (2019), the American Society of Cell Biology Early Career Life Scientist Award (2019), and the Bayer Science & Education Foundation Early Excellence in Science Award (2015). Kadoch received her undergraduate degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her doctorate from Stanford University.