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Inaugural Award Honors Collaborative Team Science


PHILADELPHIA - Highlighting the collaborative nature of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the inaugural AACR Team Science Award will be presented to a team comprised of researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Womenís Hospital at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative science in advancing cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.

Selected for their landmark prostate cancer discovery, the teamís research revealed that a majority of prostate cancers harbor recurrent gene fusions of the androgen-regulated gene TMPRSS2, with oncogenic transcription factors of the ETS family. This finding has profound clinical and biological implications for understanding prostate cancer and possibly other common solid tumors.

The AACR Team Science award, established by the AACR and generously supported by a grant from Eli Lilly and Company, acknowledges the growing importance of interdisciplinary team collaboration to the understanding of cancer and the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications.

As medical advances continue to arise, capitalizing on these new opportunities, as they apply to cancer research, often depends on the participation and contribution of researchers in other specialties including chemistry, physics, engineering, computational science, and nanotechnology. The integration of such specialties into cancer research results in the formation of interdisciplinary scientific teams.

Chosen from a pool of nearly 30 applicants, the team will collectively receive a prize of $50,000 and their institutions will be cited for their support of team science and collaboration. Winning team members are:


Scott A. Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Student
Daniel Rhodes, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Bioinformatician, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow
Rohit Mehra, M.D., Molecular Pathology Fellow, Research Investigator
Rajal Shah, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, Chief of Genitourinary Pathology, Co-Director of the Prostate SPORE Tissue Core
Sooryanarayana Varambally, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor, Cancer Biologist
Xuhong Cao, M.S., Project Manager and Research Technician
Saravana Dhanasekaran, Ph.D. Research Investigator, Molecular Biologist
John Wei, M.D., Associate Professor of Urology, Director of Clinical Outcomes Research
James Montie, M.D., Chair of Department of Urology, co-Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan Prostate SPORE
Kenneth Pienta, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Urology, Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan Prostate SPORE, Medical Oncologist, and Director of the Rapid Autopsy Program
Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology, Director, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, co-Director of Pathology Informatics, Director of Cancer Bioinformatics, Pathologist, Principal Investigator of the University of Michigan EDRN Biomarker Development Lab., Project Investigator in the Prostate SPORE
Robin Rasor, Director of Licensing, Office of Technology Transfer

Mark A. Rubin, M.D., Associate Professor of Pathology, Chief of Urologic Pathology, Co-Director Dana-Farber Harvard Prostate SPORE Tissue Core
Charles Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology, Director of Cytogenetics for the Harvard Cancer Center, Associate Clinical Cytogeneticist
Sven Perner, M.D., Research Investigator, Pathology Fellow
Francesca Demichelis, PhD., Research Investigator, Computational Biologist
The AACR Team Science Award will be presented at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting during the Centennial Ceremony on Sunday, April 16, 2007, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in Hall A of the Los Angeles Convention Center.


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