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Einstein's Susan Band Horwitz, PhD wins Bristol-Myers Squibb Cancer Research Award

BRONX, N.Y. Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., the Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research and co-chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, has been selected to receive the 29th annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research. She was recognized for her pioneering work over many decades in developing an understanding of the mechanisms of action of anti-tumor agents, especially complex natural products, as well as the mechanisms at the molecular level that cause resistance to these compounds. Her pivotal research in the 1980's eventually led to the development of paclitaxel (Taxol), one of the most important anti-cancer agents ever developed.

Dr. Horwitz was selected to receive the Distinguished Achievement Award by an independent panel of her peers, in a process in which Bristol-Myers Squibb takes no active role. The Award is a $50,000 cash prize and a silver commemorative medallion. Eighteen previous grant and award winners have also won Nobel Prizes.

While paclitaxel, found in the bark of the Pacific yew tree, was first identified in the early 1970's as a compound with a unique chemical structure and anti-tumor activity, it was not until Dr. Horwitz and her colleagues identified its singular mechanism of action for slowing tumor growth that the National Cancer Institute decided to undertake clinical trials, leading to its development and approval to treat a wide range of tumor types. Dr. Horwitz discovered that paclitaxel works by binding to microtubules, structures found in all cells and important in a wide range of cellular functions, including cell division. By stabilizing microtubules and thereby interfering with the normal functions of microtubules, paclitaxel in effect can halt or impede uncontrolled cancer cell growth. Today, paclitaxel remains widely used in the treatment of many types of pervasive tu
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Contact: Karen Gardner
kgardner@aecom.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
26-Apr-2006


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Related biology news :

1. Einsteins Dr. Vern Schramm elected to the National Academy of Sciences
2. Einsteins Dr. E. Richard Stanley receives 2006 E. Donnall Thomas Prize
3. Past AACR president Susan B. Horwitz elected to National Academy of Sciences
4. HSPHs Walter Willett wins Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson Freedom to Discover Award
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