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Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader in the movement to end breast cancer forever, has announced the recipients of the 2007 Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction, the organization's highest award of merit.
This year's recipients are Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor, department of preventive medicine and the inaugural holder of the AFLAC, Inc. Chair in Cancer Research at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., director, division of life sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.
Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Gray will be formally recognized during the 30th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), a major international gathering of breast cancer researchers, clinicians and patient advocacy organizations, Dec. 13-16 in San Antonio. The two recipients will deliver lectures for SABCS attendees at 3:45 p.m. Dec. 13 in Exhibit Hall D of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Both will receive cash awards of $25,000 and a crystal award.
The Art and Science of Delivering the Cures
The evening of Dec. 13, Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker will be the featured speaker at a gala dinner held at the Gonzalez Center in honor of the Komen Brinker award recipients. In recognition of the art and the science involved in both research and clinical endeavors, Komen has themed the evening 'Toward a Culture of Discovery: Progress and Passion in the Search for the Cures.' Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Art for the Cure program, which features a special traveling exhibition of Ambassador Brinker's collection of Hungarian art, will be featured at the dinner event to celebrate the organizations 25th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction.
The Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction was established in 1992 to honor the efforts of acknowledged pioneers in two critically important components of the fight to end breast cancer: clinical work and basic research. Since the award's establishment, the roster of Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction laureates has grown to include names of researchers connected with some of the most significant advancements made in the way breast cancer is diagnosed and treated as well as the way research into the disease is conducted. This year, former Komen Brinker award laureates will also be acknowledged for their achievements.
Bernstein: Pioneer in Linking Exercise, Breast Cancer Risk
Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., pioneered research on the link between physical activity and breast cancer, which is now well established. This research provides an evidence base for one of the few recommendations that can be made for breast cancer risk reduction. In addition to her studies on physical activity, she has contributed to the study of body size, including weight gain and obesity, another area of inquiry that has yielded insights into breast cancer risk reduction for post-menopausal women.
As director of the Los Angeles Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Registry, Dr. Bernstein is a leader in efforts to understand patterns in breast cancer incidence, including the troubling rise in risk among new immigrants to California. This work is fundamental to efforts in addressing breast cancer disparities and in anticipating risk among Asian-American women. Dr. Bernstein has a long and distinguished history of leadership at the University of Southern California, where she has advanced opportunities for women in science while serving as a model for the next generation of research professionals.
Dr. Bernstein will receive the 2007 Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in the category of clinical research.
Gray: Developing Technology to Solve Challenging Biomedical Problems
Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., is recognized as a pioneer in the development of innovative technologies that enable researchers to pursue original avenues of inquiry into challenging biomedical problems. The sum of his impact, innovation and creativity over the course of his career are directly linked to translational research which many leading scientists acknowledge will lead to real improvements for people living with breast cancer.
He is credited with the development and implementation of many important technologies, including high-speed sorting; flow karyotyping; the first chromosome painting probes; development of interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH); and the first demonstration using FISH showing ERBB2 amplification and BCR-ABL translocation, both of which are critically important to current patient management. His list of credits also includes brdU/DNA analysis of cell cycle progression; comparative genomic hybribidization (CGH); BAC End Sequencing (BES) and, more recently, nanotechnology.
Dr. Gray was an early adopter of technologies such as transcriptional profiling, high throughput analysis, SNP array CGH and molecular inversion probes. By integrating data received from these technologies, Dr. Gray has made significant advancements in developing methods that will lead to improved patient outcomes. Specifically, his work is leading to groundbreaking research in the determination of how to improve breast cancer detection and treatment. His efforts are helping to increase the translation of basic research to the clinic. Dr. Gray is a staunch proponent of collaborative, or "team" science. He supports an active academic-industrial collaborative enterprise to encourage industry to invest in, develop and implement technologies needed to combat breast cancer.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.
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