[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 3-Apr-2007
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Contact: Jennifer Ryan
ryan@aacr.org
267-646-0558
American Association for Cancer Research

World-renowned chemist honored with inaugural lectureship

PHILADELPHIA Samuel J. Danishefsky, Ph.D., is the recipient of the First Annual AACR-CICR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research. The award honors novel and significant chemistry research which has led to important contributions to the field of cancer research. Danishefsky is the Kettering Chair and Director of the Laboratory for Bioorganic Chemistry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and a professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.

Regarded as one of the world's leading chemists, Danishefsky specializes in the synthesis of complex, biologically active organic molecules. For more than 40 years, his work has provided major fundamental advances in the methodology and logic of organic synthesis, and offered a tremendous body of research in organic chemistry impacting both the strategy and technology of synthesis. Danishefsky's work is unique in bringing the triumphs of organic chemistry to the treatment of cancer and his research has literally moved compounds from conception through laboratory synthesis, preclinical evaluation and into clinical trials.

His modified epothilones (a new class of cytotoxic molecules) are currently in Phase I and Phase II breast cancer clinical trials. He also discovered fludelones, a remarkable class of compounds which show promise for broad therapeutic indications. Another major area of research of Danishefsky involves his advances directed to fully synthetic anticancer vaccines, which are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.

Danishefsky earned his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University and the Kettering Director of Bioorganic Chemistry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

A celebrated researcher, Danishefsky was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986 and received its Award in Chemical Sciences in 2006. His many awards include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1996; the ACS Cope Medal in 1998; the Bristol Myers Squibb Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006; the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2006; and the ACS Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry in 2007.

Danishefsky will present his lecture titled, "Connectivity between the power of chemical synthesis and exciting possibilities in oncology," during the AACR Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Calif. The lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2007 in Hall B of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The AACR-CICR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Lectureship was established in 2007 by the AACR's Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group, through the support of GlaxoSmithKline.

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Editors Note: To further information on this lectureship, please visit www.aacr.org.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries.

AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care.

AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.



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