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Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA -- Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Signal Transduction at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, both in Boston, is the recipient of the eighth annual Pezcoller Foundation-American Association for Cancer Research International Award for Cancer Research, for his leadership in the field of signal transduction, including the discovery of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K).

The annual award, established in 1997, recognizes an individual who has made a major scientific discovery in basic or translational cancer research.

Cantley will give an award lecture at the 96th AACR Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., April 16-20, 2005. His talk, entitled "The Role of PI3K in Cancer," will be at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, April 17, in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center. In honor of Cantley, the Pezcoller Foundation will hold an award ceremony later in the spring, at its location in Trento, Italy. Cantley will receive a cash prize of 75,000 and a medallion.

"Dr. Cantley's contributions to cancer are profound," said AACR Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.). "In addition to opening up a key regulatory pathway of oncogenesis that is manifested in many, if not most human malignancies, they also provide opportunities for drug targeting of PI3K or downstream effectors.

"Indeed, many such drugs are in clinical trials for cancer and are expected to also find use in treatment of inflammatory and allergic diseases."

As a graduate student at Cornell University, Cantley studied changes in proteins made by rearranging molecules spatially without breaking the covalent bonds, known as conformational changes. The work stemmed from his early interest in the biochemical basis for cell regulation of metabolism. Conformational changes are an important aspect of enzyme regulation. This background provided Cantley with insight into the bioc
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Contact: Elizabeth J. Tait
Tait@aacr.org
215-440-9300
American Association for Cancer Research
4-Apr-2005


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