Durham, N.C., annually honors those who make contributions to medicine
Brian Druker, M.D., JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute, and former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., are among the recipients of this year's City of Medicine Awards.
The City of Medicine Awards have recognized distinguished medical and health professionals and organizations for exemplary achievements in medicine, health and biomedical sciences since 1988. To date, the program has presented 58 awards and eight of the honorees have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize. The 2002 topic of focus is discoveries of the molecular mechanisms of cancer leading to therapeutic advances.
In addition to Druker, the 2002 scientific award recipients are Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif.; and Stanley J. Korsmeyer, M.D., investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sidney Farber Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Satcher will receive one of two special awards for outstanding community service.
Druker's research on the growth regulation of cancer cells and the subsequent application to cancer therapies was instrumental in the development of Gleevec (STI571), a drug having remarkable success treating patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The clinical trials with Gleevec have been heralded as a new paradigm in cancer therapy and in 2001, the drug became the quickest cancer therapy ever to receive Food and Drug Administration approval.
Druker's current research focuses on understanding and predicting how individual leukemia patients respond to the treatment and determining mechanisms of resistance if it occurs. In addition, he is applying the Gleevec paradigm to another type of leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia.