Archive for the ‘Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research’ Category

2017 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research goes to Young Investigators (under 45) named by Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK)

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The winners are Gad (Gaddy) Getz, PhD, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, and Harvard Medical School; Chuan He, PhD, of the University of Chicago; and Aviv Regev, PhD, also of the Broad Institute. Each will receive an award of $50,000 and will give a scientific presentation at a symposium held at MSK on November 30, 2017.

The award was created to honor Paul Marks, MD, President Emeritus of MSK, for his contributions as a scientist, teacher, and leader during the 19 years he led the institution.

Since it was first presented in 2001, the biennial prize has recognized 28 young scientists and has awarded more than $1 million.

Gad (Gaddy) Getz, PhD, doctorate in physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

“The future of this field is only going to be more collaborative,” he says. “To have the statistical power to find these cancer drivers, we need to look at data from all over the world. Including greater numbers of patients is key to making a difference in this field.”

Chuan He, PhD, earned his doctorate in chemistry from MIT. A expert in the field of cancer epigenetics and RNA modification biology. He was the first to put forward the idea that modifications to RNA are reversible and can control gene expression. Eraser proteins, and in later work characterized a series of Reader proteins that explain how RNA methylation functioned. “Cancer and other diseases can hijack aberrant RNA methylation to gain a survival advantage, allowing cells to proliferate and grow out of control.” Dr. He’s work forms some of the foundations for developing potential future therapies that target RNA methylation effectors against human cancer.

Aviv Regev, PhDearned her doctorate in Computational Biology from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Made discoveries in two types of cancer: Brain tumors (oligodendroglioma and astrocytoma, two types of brain cancer, appear to be very different, they both contain the same cancer stem cells) and Melanoma (determined that a small subset of tumor cells is resistant to therapy before treatment has even started). One of the leaders of Human Cell Atlas, an international effort to build a collection of maps that will describe and define the cellular basis of health and disease. Single cancer cells, using NGS, RNA sequencing (RNA Seq) rather than DNA, determining which genes are being expressed, or “turned on,” in particular cells.




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