Director, Center for GU Malignancies Research, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University
For pivotal contributions to the understanding of how steroid metabolism contributes to prostate cancer progression, defining the first example of a gain-of-function steroidogenic enzyme missense mutation that permits dihydrotestosterone synthesis from adrenal precursors, and for characterizing in a series of clinical studies, now validated worldwide, that this missense mutation represents an effective predictive biomarker in castration-resistant prostate cancer.
In 2017, the AACR instituted the AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research to recognize a worthy cancer researcher who has conducted highly meritorious translational and clinical cancer research anywhere in the world, and who has not yet reached 51 years of age at the time of award presentation. The award was established in recognition of the extraordinary contributions that Hong, a Fellow of the AACR Academy, made to advances in cancer research, cancer care, and cancer prevention during his long-standing and brilliant career as a physician-scientist.
Dr. Sharifi has made significant contributions to cancer research through his focus on the role of androgen synthesis in advanced castration-resistant prostate cancers. Early in his career, he challenged the generally accepted dogma that testosterone is an obligate intermediate metabolite that undergoes a 5α-reduction to form DHT from adrenal precursor steroids in castration-resistant prostate cancer. He demonstrated that a different steroid, androstenedione, is also capable of undergoing a 5α-reduction to form 5α-androstanedione and eventually DHT, thus driving tumor progression. To learn more, please visit the press release.