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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Cancer Research is delighted to announce that the recipient of the ninth annual MGH Award in Cancer Research is Hans Clevers, MD, PhD. Dr. Clevers will receive this award in recognition of his pioneering work in stem cell and cancer research. The MGH Award in Cancer Research, established through a bequest in memory of Grace and Nathan Schiff, has been awarded every year since 2006. The MGH Center for Cancer Research faculty selects recipients based on their outstanding contributions to cancer research as well as on excellence in mentoring. Previous recipients are Anton Berns, PhD (2006); Joan Massague, PhD (2007); Titia de Lange, PhD (2008); Bert Vogelstein, MD (2009); Charles Sawyers, MD (2010); Michael Stratton, MD, FRS (2011); Craig Thompson, MD (2012); and James Allison, PhD (2013).
Dr. Clevers received his medical and biology degrees from Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1984-85. After three years of postdoctoral work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Clevers joined the faculty of Utrecht University as a Professor of Molecular Genetics. From 2002 to 2012 he was director of the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research in Utrecht, and in 2012 he became President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Clevers' research interests include cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tissue growth. His numerous scientific contributions to these fields, described in over 400 high profile scientific publications, include the discovery of the TCF/LEF family of transcription factors and their roles as nuclear effectors of WNT signaling both in normal development and in cancer. Other important discoveries include the identification of Lgr5 as a marker of stem cells in several adult tissues, the identification of Lgr5 and its relatives as the receptors for R-spondins, a family of potent stem cell growth factors, and the development of organoid cultures and their use in deciphering important developmental and cancer-related cellular and molecular signaling pathways.
Dr. Clevers has received numerous awards, including the Dutch Spinoza Award in 2001, the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize in 2004, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Katharine Berkan Judd Award in 2005, the Israeli Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in 2006, the Dutch Josephine Nefkens Prize for Cancer Research and the German Meyenburg Cancer Research Award in 2008, the Dutch Cancer Society Award in 2009, the United European Gastroenterology Federation Research Prize in 2010, the German Ernst Jung-Preis für Medizin in 2011, the French Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer Léopold Griffuel Prize and the Heineken Prize in 2012, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013. He is Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He will receive the MGH Award in Cancer Research on March 14, 2014 in Boston.
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