Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, was announced as the recipient of the third annual Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine.
The Prize, which includes a $50,000 gift, will be formally presented to Dr. Cantley on June 8 at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan, followed by an academic lecture by Dr. Cantley and other preeminent researchers.
The Ross Prize is made possible by the generosity of Feinstein Institute board members Robin and Jack Ross of Upper Brookville, NY. It is awarded annually byMolecular Medicine to scientists who have made a demonstrable impact in the understanding of human diseases pathogenesis and/or treatment, and who hold significant promise for making even greater contributions to the general field of molecular medicine.
“Lewis Cantley’s pursuit of science led to his discovery of the enzyme PI 3-kinase,” said Feinstein Institute President, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, who also serves as editor emeritus of Molecular Medicine. “He pursued this discovery to further elucidate the functionality of PI 3-kinase, leading to therapeutic applications.”
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Dr. Cantley. “My laboratory discovered PI3-kinase more than 25 years ago because of its co-purification with a variety of oncoproteins that caused cancers in mice and chickens. It was an unexpected discovery and it took us many years to understand why this enzyme, which produces a low abundant but powerful lipid, caused cancer. We now know that the lipid produced by PI 3-kinase is driving the growth of most human cancers. Many PI 3-kinase inhibitors are now in clinical trials and last summer the first PI 3-kinase inhibitor was approved for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia based on clinical trials conducted at the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. It is likely that PI 3-kinase inhibitors will be useful in treating a wide variety of cancers as we learn how to best use these drugs in treating solid tumors. In accepting this award, I want to acknowledge an incredible group of brilliant students and postdoctoral fellows and collaborators who conducted the research that elucidated the PI 3-kinase pathway and its role in cancer."
On June 8, at a ceremony to be held at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan, Dr. Cantley will be presented the Ross Prize. After the award presentation, Dr. Cantley; José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Harold Varmus, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College will each present scientific lectures. These preeminent researchers will discuss how to harness cell signaling pathways to treat cancer. To learn more about and register for the Ross Prize celebration and symposium, visit www.nyas.org/RossPrize2015. Registration is free.
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