Breakthrough Research In Fight Against Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Innovative and collaborative cancer research can be the catalyst to improving patient outcomes.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Association for Cancer Research at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Eli Lilly and Company in partnership with AACR presented two awards, which acknowledge innovation and the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams working together to transform research discoveries into clinical practice.

"Both the Team Science Award and the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award allow us to recognize individuals and teams who are working to bring meaningful progress to the future of cancer care," said Richard Gaynor, M.D., vice president, cancer research and global oncology platform leader at Lilly. "Their work is occurring at hospitals, research organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and government institutions. The breakthroughs delivered by these award recipients can form the backbone of the next phase of cancer treatments. At Lilly, we are collaborating with researchers around the world to identify the best ways to deliver the right medication at the right dose and the right time for patients. This gives the medical community and patients more powerful options in the fight against cancer."

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The first-ever Team Science Award was presented to a collaborative 16- member team from the University of Michigan and Harvard University-Brigham and Women's Hospital. The two universities worked together to uncover a breakthrough finding -- a unique change involved in the pathogenesis of prostate cancers -- which has profound clinical and biological implications for understanding not just prostate cancer but possibly other common solid tumors.

Selected from a pool of nearly 30 applicants, the Michigan and Harvard team was collectively awarded a prize of $50,000. In addition to their prize, the institutions will be cited for their collaboration and contribution to team science.

Also presented was the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award recognizing an individual with outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. The award was presented to Michael Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., cancer center director at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, for his leadership in studying cellular responses to DNA damage. Lilly and the AACR established the award in 1961 to honor Dr. G.H.A. Clowes, a former research director at Lilly and an active member of AACR. Dr. Kastan will be awarded $30,000 and will deliver a lecture on his research findings during the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting.

"It is an honor to recognize Dr. Kastan with the Clowes Award and the collaborative team from the University of Michigan and Harvard University with the Team Science Award," said Gaynor. "Their work provides meaningful knowledge of how we may be able to find new and innovative treatments to combat this deadly disease."