In This Section
Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD

Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD

University of California
Los Angeles, California

Class of 2013

Acclaimed for having brought about a revolution in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Slamon and colleagues began looking at alterations in genes that regulate growth and discovered that tumors in women with an overexpression of the HER2 protein or an amplification of the HER2 gene were more aggressive. They focused on those tumors, and their research led to the discovery of the monoclonal antibody against HER2, the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin), which has been used to treat more than 420,000 women worldwide. Heralded as a major advance in targeted cancer therapies when first introduced, the drug has been included in breast cancer treatment protocols in the United States since receiving FDA approval in 1998.

Dr. Slamon has received dozens of awards and honors for his groundbreaking work, including one that is probably unique among his colleagues: He had a Hollywood movie made of his life and work in 2008: “Living Proof” starred Harry Connick Jr.

Career Highlights

2019 Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research Award
2019 Sjöberg Prize, The Sjöberg Foundation, Lysekil, Sweden
2017 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research, Susan G. Komen
2008 Daniel Nathans’ Memorial Award, Van Andel Research Institute
2007 Gairdner Foundation International Award
2007 Distinguished Medical Service Award, Friends of the National Library of Medicine
2007 Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize, Harvard Medical School
2006 Breast Cancer Award, European Institute of Oncology
2006 Umberto Veronesi Award for the Future Fight Against Breast Cancer
2006 Donald Ware Waddell Award, Arizona Cancer Center
2006 Lister Award for Translational Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland
2006 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture, American Society of Clinical Oncology
2004 Medal of Honor, American Cancer Society
2003 Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research
2002 Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
2001 Brown-Hazen Award for Excellence in the Basic Sciences, Wadsworth Center
2000 Bristol-Myers-Squibb Oncology Millennium Award
1975 MD, PhD, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine