COLUMBUS, Ohio – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) honored Dr. Carlo Croce, professor and chair of the department of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of Human Cancer Genetics at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James),with the seventh annual Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship at the recent AACR Annual Meeting 2013 held in Washington, D.C.
Croce, who presented the lecture, “Causes and Consequences of microRNA Dysregulation in Cancer,” was recognized for his research into the genetic mechanisms of cancer. He discovered numerous oncogenes and established the role of microRNAs in the development and progression of cancer.
The AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lecture is presented to a scientist whose novel and significant work had or may have a far-reaching impact on the detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of cancer, and who embodies the dedication of the princess to multinational collaborations. Her Imperial Highness Princess Kikuko Takamatsu was instrumental in promoting cancer research and encouraging cancer scientists. She became a champion for these causes following her mother’s death from bowel cancer in 1933 at age 43.
“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award. I knew the princess and attended several of the Takamatsu conferences,” said Croce, who served as chair of the Princess Takamatsu Symposia in 1996. “I am truly delighted to have received this honor during the AACR Annual Meeting.”
Croce started his quest to find cancer-causing genes by analyzing cancer-specific genomic abnormalities called chromosomal translocations. He began by studying the translocation that characterizes Burkitt’s lymphoma and showing that it led to the activation of the oncogene MYC. This finding was instrumental in determining that the chromosomal translocations observed in many human leukemias and lymphomas deregulate oncogenes, initiating the process of leukemia or lymphoma development.
Croce’s research led to the development of a microRNA gene expression chip to assess global expression of microRNAs in tissues and tumors. He found that specific microRNA signatures are associated with the diagnosis and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple myeloma, lung cancer, colon cancer and other tumors and defined microRNAs that function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors.
In addition to being honored at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 with the AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship, Croce was inaugurated into the first class of the Fellows of the AACR Academy. In 1990, he received the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the AACR-Pezcoller International Award for Cancer Research in 1999 and the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award in 2006. He also has served as a member of several AACR committees, as well as editor-in-chief of Cancer Research (1990-2000), a member of the board of directors (1990-1994) and chair of the 1998 AACR-Pezcoller International Award for Cancer Research Committee.
Croce has received numerous other accolades throughout his career, including two Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Cancer Institute, the Raymond Bourgine Award and Gold Medal of Paris, an honorary doctorate in medicine from Uppsala University in Sweden, the Rod and Ceil Mortel Lecture in Cancer Research from Penn State University, the Italian Gold Medal for Public Health and the Gottleib Award from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, an honorary member of the Japanese Cancer Society and a foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze, delta dei XL in Italy.
Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR Annual meeting attracts more than 17,000 attendees.
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 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
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Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu