Cervical Cancer, AIDS Discoveries Share Nobel Prize
Dr. Harald zur Hausen, a German virologist, received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research showing that certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among women. He postulated a role for HPV in cervical cancer in the 1970s, challenging the prevailing view at the time, and his research contributed to the development of vaccines against the disease, according to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, which announced the prize October 6.
Dr. zur Hausen, former Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, shared the Nobel Prize with the French investigators Drs. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.
LoRusso Receives Michaele C. Christian Lectureship
Dr. Patricia LoRusso of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, MI, received the 2008 Michaele C. Christian Onocology Drug Development Award and Lectureship. She delivered her lecture, "Clinical Research 101: Lessons Learned Along the Way," at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) Early Drug Discovery Meeting on September 22.
Dr. LoRusso is known in the field for her scientific and clinical expertise in the design and conduct of many early phase trials to evaluate novel investigational agents and has pioneered innovative trial designs to safely speed the development of new treatment approaches. She has been a strong proponent of incorporating biomarker analysis and other translational studies into clinical trials. Dr. LoRusso is a widely respected mentor of fellows and junior faculty working in investigational oncology drug development.
The lectureship was established to honor Dr. Christian's 20-year NCI career, where she headed the CTEP program for many years, and recognize the contributions of individuals to the development of novel agents for cancer therapy.
Zerhouni Will Step Down as NIH Director
On September 24, Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni announced he will end his tenure as director of NIH at the end of October 2008. Since being appointed NIH Director in May 2002, Dr. Zerhouni has led the agency to develop innovative solutions to transform basic and clinical research into tangible benefits for patients and their families. A hallmark of his directorship is the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, launched in 2003. Dr. Zerhouni plans to pursue writing projects and explore other professional opportunities. For more about Dr. Zerhouni's departure and to read about his accomplishments, go to http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2008/od-24.htm.
An interim director will be announced in the coming weeks.
NCI Proteomics Meeting to Focus on Laboratory Variability
Addressing the challenges of the biomarker discovery pipeline (sample collection, sample digestion, experimental design, instrument performance, and data analysis) facing the proteomics community is a key focus of NCI's Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer (CPTC) initiative and will be the central theme for the CPTC 2nd Annual Meeting, October 28-29, in Cambridge, MA. In addition to presentations on this critical challenge by the CPTC teams and individual investigators, the meeting will highlight public-private partnerships and community-based resources such as NCI's newly launched antibody characterization program. In addition, investigators from CPTC and NCI's Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies program have developed a joint session designed to foster collaboration between these two organizations. To register for the meeting, go to: http://www.capconcorp.com/meeting/proteomic2008/.