AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize Awarded to NCI Researcher
Dr. Shiv Grewal, senior investigator at the NCI Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, has been awarded the Newcomb Cleveland Prize by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Newcomb Cleveland Prize, established in 1923, is AAAS's oldest award. It is given each year to the author(s) of an outstanding paper published in the journal Science. Dr. Grewal received the award for two study reports he authored with colleagues: "Establishment and maintenance of a heterochromatin domain" and "Regulation of heterochromatic silencing and histone H3 lysine-9 methylation by RNAi." Both were published in 2002. Much of Dr. Grewal's laboratory's research focuses on how the tangled core of DNA and protein within cells, called chromatin, is controlled or affected by nongenetic factors and how this affects the organization and structure of the human genome. This is the second time Dr. Grewal has been recognized by AAAS. In 2002, when he was at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, studies published by Dr. Grewal and others on the role of "small RNAs" in controlling gene expression were lauded by Science as the "Breakthrough of the Year."
CCR Newsletter Wins Excellence Award
The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) scientific newsletter, Frontiers in Science, won an Excellence Award in the 2003 Society for Technical Communication publications competition. The newsletter was judged excellent in terms of its content and organization, editing, and visual design. The mission of the newsletter is to foster scientific communication within NCI's CCR, with objectives to promote awareness of cutting-edge scientific results coming from CCR; foster scientific collaborations; familiarize staff with resources, services, and technologies; and provide brief administrative updates.
NCI Investigator Featured Speaker at NIH Director's Seminar
On Jan. 23, Dr. Lino Tessarollo, a principal investigator in the NCI Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, was the featured speaker at the NIH Director's Seminar Series. The title of Dr. Tessarollo's talk was "Dissecting neurotrophins' function in vivo: Lessons from engineered mouse models." Research into neurotrophins has generated increased interest because, in addition to their developmental role on proliferation and survival of neurons, they appear to have a wide range of effects on malignant cells and, in some cases, correlate with patient prognosis.
NCI-FDA Proteomics Program Featured at Science Writers' Seminar
The NCI-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Clinical Proteomics Program was featured last week at an NCI-sponsored science writers' seminar. The seminar, the sixth such event held by NCI, is an effort to help educate reporters who regularly report on cancer issues for the cancer community and the public at large. At the core of the proteomics program, as program co-director Dr. Lance Liotta explained, is the search for biomarkers, molecules inside the body that may signal the early presence of cancer. "The old way or the existing way for finding biomarkers is not working," added the program's other co-director, Dr. Emanuel Petricoin. "We can continue down that road or we can try to change it up a bit." The NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program has shown impressive results to date detecting cancer biomarkers using advanced technologies like mass spectroscopy (see related report). The results of this work are already being applied to early-stage clinical trials. Dr. Elise Kohn, a principal investigator in the NCI Laboratory of Pathology, described several of the trials. The advances being made through the NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program, she said, are moving clinicians toward being able to provide more "targeted molecular medicine" that "treats the individual, not the cancer."
Menthol Cigarettes Research Conference Summary Available
An executive summary is now available on the "First Conference on Menthol Cigarettes: Setting the Research Agenda," held in March 2002 in Atlanta, Ga., and sponsored by eight organizations, including NCI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The summary presents background information on the use of menthol in cigarettes and identifies areas for further research. Topics include the emergence of menthol cigarettes, the importance of research on these tobacco products, and concerns about the marketing of menthol cigarettes to African Americans in the United States, as these cigarettes are the choice of 70 percent of black smokers. The full conference proceedings will be available in February 2004 in a special supplement to the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
The executive summary is designed for researchers, scientists, and tobacco control practitioners. It can be accessed online at http://dccps.nci.nih.gov/tcrb/MethnolExecSumRprt4_10-16.pdf. A limited number of print copies can be ordered at no cost through NCI's Publications Locator at https://pubs.cancer.gov/ncipl or by calling NCI's Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).