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Michael Karin, PhD, to Receive 2020 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is honoring Michael Karin, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy, with the 2020 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research.

Karin, distinguished professor of pharmacology and pathology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, is being recognized for unraveling the role of metabolic stress, inflammation, and immunosuppression in cancer by establishing the tumorigenic function of NF-κB in cancer progenitors and myeloid cells, and for explaining how inflammation and cancer are linked, laying down the basis for use of anti-cytokine and anti-inflammatory drugs in cancer prevention and treatment.

The AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research was established by the AACR and Eli Lilly and Co. in 1961 to honor Dr. G.H.A. Clowes, who was a founding member of the AACR and a research director at Eli Lilly. The award is intended to recognize an individual who has made outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research.

Karin is world-renowned for his seminal research establishing the relationship between chronic inflammation and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. He discovered that members of the IL-6 family of cytokines are capable of activating oncogenic transcription factors such as STAT3, resulting in colorectal and liver cancer onset. He also showed that IkB kinase contributes to colon, liver, and prostate cancer by activating NF-κB and its downstream expression of anti-apoptotic and growth-promoting genes. Karin’s research has been vital to the understanding of the dynamic relationship between inflammation, metabolism, obesity, and cancer.

Karin has been a member of the AACR since 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2017. Karin has served on the AACR Council of Scientific Advisors, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grants Scientific Review Committee, and the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Committee.

Throughout his career, Karin has been recognized with a multitude of scientific honors, including the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology (2013); the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer (2013); the Harvey Prize (2010); and the Morton I. Grossman Lectureship (2003). He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.