Public Release: 

Ohio State's Albert de la Chapelle receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Columbus, Ohio - Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics at The Ohio State University, has received a lifetime achievement award from the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA-ICC), which was established to improve understanding of inherited colorectal cancer and the clinical management of affected families, particularly those living in the Americas.

De la Chapelle, who is a member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James), received the award Oct. 20 during the organization's annual meeting.

"Dr. de la Chapelle is truly a giant in the field of genetics and specifically in colorectal cancer genetics," says Sonia S. Kupfer, MD, 2017 CGA president. "He made several seminal discoveries that paved the way for identification, diagnosis and cancer prevention in patients with mismatch repair mutations."

De la Chapelle's work spans more than five decades and includes more than 800 publications. His early research contributed to the detection of a gene that helps determine maleness and to characterizing the XX male syndrome, also called De la Chapelle syndrome. But most of his career has focused on identifying, mapping, cloning and characterizing disease genes, especially genes that predispose people to cancer.

In particular, he played a key role in the discovery of genes that cause Lynch syndrome (LS), a cancer-causing condition that occurs when a person inherits a mutation in one of four genes. De la Chapelle is known for having a compassionate approach to clinical research. He shows an interest in the patients seen by his staff in clinic, and his work has emphasized applying laboratory discoveries to the development of new diagnostic procedures and treatments. These have included the development of the test used to screen people for LS and studies that led to recommendations for the universal screening of people with colorectal cancer for LS. His work helped lead to the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative, which includes 50 hospitals throughout Ohio and was funded in part by Pelotonia, the annual grassroots bicycle event that raises money for cancer research at Ohio State.

De la Chapelle also has made significant contributions in the areas of papillary thyroid cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and endometrial cancer. Ongoing work includes inherited mutations that predispose to papillary thyroid cancer, including non-coding RNA genes.

De la Chapelle holds the Leonard J. Immke Jr. and Charlotte L. Immke Chair in Cancer Research at Ohio State. He earned his MD and PhD from the University of Helsinki, where he served as professor of Medical Genetics from 1974-1997, and as director of Clinical Genetics of the University of Helsinki Central Hospital from 1977 to 1997. His awards include honorary doctorates at the Universities of Uppsala and Oulu, membership of the Academy of Finland, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1977), and the William Allan Award of the American Society of Human Genetics (2002).

About the OSUCCC - James

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs sponsored by the NCI. As the cancer program's 308-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet® designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. At 21 floors with more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care.


Media Contact: Amanda Harper, director, Media Relations
Direct: 614-685-5420; central media office: 614-293-3737

Written by: Darrell E. Ward, associate director for Cancer Communications
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