Public Release: 

National Foundation For Cancer Research names UCSD's Webster Cavenee NFCR Fellow

Awards $250,000 grant for research of cancer tumors

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

(March 23, 2004) The National Foundation For Cancer Research, based in Bethesda, MD, has awarded a $250,000 grant to Webster Cavenee, Ph.D., Director of the San Diego Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and named him NFCR Fellow. The distinguished honor allows Cavenee unique and creative flexibility to conduct scientific research over the next five years that may lead to more effective therapies in the battle to eliminate cancer.

"After working with Dr. Cavenee for two years, we feel his research is unequivocal in the understanding of tumors and how they react under a variety of conditions," said Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., president of NFCR. "His discoveries are truly at the forefront of cancer research."

Cavenee's research is directed at defining the genetic lesions in human cancer, determining their physiological significance and using such information for therapeutic approaches. His current directions include the molecular dissection of the basis of malignant progression of astrocytic tumors, the differentiation pathways of astrocytes, the role of DNA methylation in cancers of the prostate, and the role of fusion transcription factors in normal development and pediatric neoplasms.

Since 1991 Cavenee has been Director of the San Diego Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, where he is also a member of the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. He is a past-president of the American Association for Cancer Research, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a fellow of the International Union Against Cancer. He is on the editorial boards of several journals and has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. His work on the genetic basis of cancer predisposition and progression has been recognized with many honors and awards, most notably the Rhoads Award, and the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation.

Cavenee notes, "It is my honor and pleasure to be associated with the National Foundation for Cancer Research and its unique approach to cancer research. This opportunity will allow us to follow scientific leads wherever they might go, and to participate in the NFCR network of outstanding investigators. I am grateful for the confidence that the NFCR has placed in me and I look forward to a vibrant and productive association."


About Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and UCSD

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) is the largest international academic institute dedicated to understanding and controlling cancer. With 10 branches in seven countries, and numerous affiliates and clinical trial centers in many others, the scientific network that is LICR quite literally covers the globe. The uniqueness of LICR lies not only in its size and scale, but also in its philosophy and ability to drive its results from the laboratory into the clinic. The San Diego Branch of LICR was established under the leadership of Cavenee in 1991 in affiliation with the University of California-San Diego, one of the world's foremost research universities. It comprises seven laboratories, more than 100 staff, and focuses on the fundamental understanding of processes like DNA repair, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, protein modification and cell division that are often integral components of the cancer process.

About NFCR

Since its founding in 1973, the National Foundation for Cancer Research has spent more than $200 million funding basic science cancer research and education focused on understanding how and why cells become cancerous. This worldwide "laboratory without walls" assembles the intellectual power to achieve one of medicine's greatest goals: a cure for cancer--all types of cancer. Prevention, new treatments, and a cure depend on understanding cancer's genetic origins; NFCR is dedicated to funding scientists who are discovering cancer's molecular mysteries and translating these discoveries into therapies that hold the only real hope for curing cancer. NFCR is Research for a Cure. For more information, please visit NFCR's website at or call (800) 321-CURE.

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