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Susan B. Horwitz, PhD

Susan B. Horwitz, PhD

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York

Class of 2013

Dr. Horwitz has had a continuing interest in natural products as a source of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Her contributions span several decades of research and encompass agents which have served as prototypes for some of our most important drugs that are currently in clinical use. She made major contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of action of camptothecin, the epipodophyllotoxins and bleomycin. However, Dr. Horwitz’s most seminal research contribution has been in the development of Taxol®, a drug isolated from the yew plant, Taxus brevifolia.

Dr. Horwitz and her co-workers demonstrated that Taxol®’s antimimotic effects were due to a novel interaction between the drug and microtubules that resulted in stabilized polymers. Dr. Horwitz’s pioneering investigations and perceptive analysis identified Taxol® as a prototype for a new class of antitumor drugs. Although no one was interested in Taxol® when she began her studies, today it is an important antitumor drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast and lung carcinomas. Dr. Horwitz’s research played an important role in encouraging the development of Taxol® by the National Cancer Institute. The drug has since been given to over a million patients.

Career Highlights

2020 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research
2019 Gairdner International Award, Gairdner Foundation, Toronto, Ontario
2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association for Cancer Research
2008 American Cancer Society ‘s Medal of Honor
2006 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
2006 Bristol-Meyers Squibb Cancer Distinguished Achievement Award
2005 Warren Alpert Foundation Award, Harvard Medical School
2005 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
2004 Mayors Award for Excellence in Science and Technology
2002-2003 President, AACR
2002 M.D. (h.c.), Université de la Méditerranée, Marseilles, France
1996 C. Chester Stock Award, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1994 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1994 Experimental Therapeutics Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
1992 Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award, American Association for Cancer Research
1987-1990 Board of Directors, American Association for Cancer Research
1963 PhD, Brandeis University