Three young investigators who have taken significant steps toward advancing the understanding of cancer will be the recipients of this year's Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, a prize awarded biennially since 2001 to scientists under the age of forty-six by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
This year's winners are Arul M. Chinnaiyan at the University of Michigan, who discovered chromosome rearrangements that lead to prostate cancer; Matthew L. Meyerson at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, who discovered mutations in lung cancer cells; and David M. Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute, who discovered a pathway that helps regulate the growth of cancer cells.
"Each of the researchers we are honoring has already built a body of work that has advanced the field of cancer research," said Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center President Harold Varmus when announcing the winners.
The winners were selected by a committee made up of prominent members of the cancer research community and chaired by Titia de Lange, a professor at The Rockefeller University and a former Marks Prize winner. "Although all three winners are focused primarily on working in the laboratory, the translational aspect of their discoveries has already begun to influence the treatments that cancer patients receive," Dr. de Lange said.
The prize is named for Paul A. Marks, President Emeritus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, who led the Center for 19 years, from 1980 to 1999. It was created by Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Boards of Overseers and Managers at the time of Dr. Marks' retirement to honor his many contributions as a distinguished scientist, teacher, and leader.
This year's winners will each receive an award of $50,000 and will speak about their work at a public symposium held at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Rockefeller Research Laboratories Auditorium on Thursday, December 3, 2009.