Public Release: 

AACR recognizes outstanding cancer research achievements of Dr. Christopher Vakoc

American Association for Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA -- The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Christopher R. Vakoc, MD, PhD, assistant professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, with the 35th annual AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, to be held in Philadelphia, April 18-22.

Since 1979, the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research is awarded to an investigator younger than 40 years of age to recognize his or her meritorious achievements within the field of cancer research.

Vakoc is being recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in the areas of epigenetics and cancer biology. More specifically, for his research on the basic molecular mechanisms that control leukemias, which revealed an essential connection between epigenetic regulation and oncogenesis. This work subsequently led to the development of potential new therapeutic approaches that are currently being evaluated in early stage clinical trials.

He will present his lecture, "Chromatin Regulators as Cancer Dependencies," Tuesday, April 21, 4:15 p.m. ET, in the Terrace Ballroom II/III of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

"I am grateful to the AACR for this award and recognizing the impact that basic research in epigenetics and cancer biology can have on therapeutics," Vakoc said. "I am excited about the future of my research and the potential to improve the lives of patients battling leukemias and other cancers."

Vakoc has been recognized with numerous other honors, including the "A" Award from Alex's Lemonade Stand, the V Scholar Grant from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Forbeck Scholar Award, the Sass Foundation Fellowship, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists, and the Sass Foundation for Medical Research Fellow Award.

He joined CSHL in 2008 as a fellow and became a faculty member in 2011 when appointed assistant professor. Vakoc received his bachelor's degree from Penn State University in University Park in 2001 and his doctoral and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, in 2005 and 2007, respectively, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow.


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About the American Association for Cancer Research

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 35,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in 101 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 25 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with over 18,500 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit

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