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V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci

V. Craig Jordan, CMG, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Class of 2013

A renowned researcher, Dr. Jordan was the first to discover the breast-cancer prevention properties of tamoxifen and the scientific principles for adjuvant therapy with antihormones. Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that millions of breast-cancer survivors rely on for its estrogen-blocking properties. As with most targeted drugs, however, the long-term problem with tamoxifen is acquired resistance, and the continued research of Dr. Jordan’s team has been devoted to unraveling the mechanism and timeframe for this occurrence. He has identified that the problem lies with estrogen itself, in a phenomenon whereby physiologic estrogen, given at the right time, effectively treats metastatic breast cancer that has become resistant to tamoxifen.

Dr. Jordan’s research has recently expanded to the use of SERMs in the prevention of multiple diseases in women, particularly osteoporosis. He has received numerous honors and has served many scientific organizations in both leadership and advisory capacities.

Dr. Jordan Named to “The Big Four of the Millennium”
Dr. Jordan was named as a member of “The Big Four of the Millennium” in Women’s Health by the German Society of Genecology and Obstetrics. The honor, which was announced at the society ‘s 61st congress in October 2016, identifies four individuals whose work in the 20th century created the standards of women’s health care in the 21st century. The four recipients of the honor are as follows:

  • Harald zur Hausen, MD, FAACR: Professor of medicine at the University Heidelberg, 1983-2003. Dr. zur Hausen is a German virologist by training and was the chairman and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Cancer Research Center at the University of Heidelberg. In the early 1980s, together with his colleagues, he identified human papilloma virus (HPV) 16 and 18 in cervical cancers, thereby making it possible to develop a vaccine. As a result, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.
  • V. Craig Jordan, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, FAACR: Dallas/Ft. Worth Living Legend chair of cancer research in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His translational research in the 1980s created a new group of medicines called Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs). These medicines, which include tamoxifen and raloxifene, are used for the treatment and prevention of multiple diseases in women. Jordan, an American-British pharmacologist, is known as the “Father of Tamoxifen.”
  • Hans-Jöerg Senn, MD: A Swiss medical oncologist, Dr. Senn dedicated his entire professional life to improving cancer care worldwide by founding the internationally famous St. Gallen Breast Cancer Conferences. By training international physicians in the latest advances in breast cancer care, Dr. Senn extended untold numbers of patients’ lives.
  • Umberto Veronesi, MD: Trained as an Italian surgical oncologist, Dr. Veronesi was a major force in advancing breast cancer care by initiating breast-conserving surgery with quadrantectomy. By founding the European Institute of Oncology and the European School of Oncology, he promoted excellence in cancer prevention and early diagnosis and improved standards of treatment and care for cancer patients. Dr. Veronesi died in November 2016.

Career Highlights

2021 Recognized for advancing the goals of the signing of the National Cancer act in 1971 to save lives from and prevent breast cancer, National Cancer Institute
2021 Recognized for successfully using federal funding to advance healthcare and enriching the economic growth of the nation, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
2020 Honorary DSc University of Wisconsin for the Discovery of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
2019 Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George for services to women’s health by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll
2019 Reynold Spector Award for Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine, ASPET
2018 Giants of Cancer Care, OncLive®
2018 Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research
2017 Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine
2016 Big Four of the Millennium, German Society for Genecology and Obstetrics
2015 Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery, British Pharmacological Society
2012 ASPET Goodman and Gillman Award in Drug Receptor Pharmacology
2011 St. Gallen Prize for Clinical Breast Cancer Research, Switzerland
2009 The Jephcott Medal, Royal Society of Medicine
2009 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
2009 Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK)
2008 David A Karnofsky Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology
2008 Honorary Fellowship, Royal Society of Medicine, London
2007 Gregory G. Pincus Award and Medal, Worcester Foundation, University of Massachusetts
2006 American Cancer Society Award for Chemoprevention
2005 Inaugural Alfred G. Knudson Chair of Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center
2003 Charles F. Kettering Prize, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
2003 Third George and Christine Sosnovsky Award in Cancer Therapy, Royal Society of Chemistry
2002 Medal of Honor for Basic Research, American Cancer Society
2002 Installed as Officer of the Order of British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II
2002 AACR-Dorothy P. Landon Prize for Translational Research
2001 Third Annual Breast Cancer Award, European Institute of Oncology
2001 Honorary Doctor of Medicine Degree, Leeds University
2001 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research
1999 Diana, Princess of Wales Professor of Cancer Research
1997 Laureate of the Sixth Cino del Duca Award for Oncology, Paris 1994 AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, William L. McGuire Memorial Award and Lecture
1993 Cameron Prize for Therapeutics, University of Edinburgh
1992 Brinker International Breast Cancer Award for Basic Science, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
1989 AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award
1986 D.Sc., University of Leeds
1972 PhD, University of Leeds