Genomic Medicine Pioneer to Present Annual Block Lecture at Ohio State

October 30, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eric S. Lander, PhD, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, will receive the 20th annual Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award for Achievement in Cancer. He will visit The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, to deliver the Block Lecture.

The award, established by the Block family of Columbus, honors the memory of their parents, Maxine and Herbert J. Block, who both died of cancer. It is given annually to a renowned cancer researcher who is invited to The OSUCCC-James to accept the award and deliver the annual Block Lecture.

As head of the Broad Institute, a collaborative biomedical research institution focused on genomic medicine, Lander has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the reading, understanding and medical application of the human genome. He was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project. A geneticist, molecular biologist and mathematician, Lander’s work has made it possible to discover thousands of genes underlying common human diseases, including cancer and diabetes.

Lander is also a professor of biology at MIT and of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. In 2008, President Obama appointed Lander to co-chair the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The title of Lander’s Block Lecture is, “Lessons from the Cancer Genome.”

“It was 25 years ago that the Block family met with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center to set up a fund designed to drive more advances in cancer through greater engagement and cross-industry collaborations, “ said Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of The OSUCCC and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Dr. Lander’s work at the Broad Institute embodies this spirit of collaboration, as it brings together the top minds in science, across disciplines and organizations, to take on some of the big problems in biology, genetics and genomics.”

A monetary award of $25,000 is associated with the Block Memorial Lectureship, making it one of the largest prizes awarded by an academic institution in the field of cancer. The Block Memorial Lectureship is funded by proceeds of the annual Herbert J. Block Memorial Tournament, a golf outing established in 1982 by the Block family to honor their father.

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 four 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.


Contact: Amanda Harper, Director, James Cancer Hospital Public Affairs and Media Relations at 614-293-3737 (24/7 media line), 614-685-5420 (direct) or

Contact Media Staff

Amanda Harper

Director of Media Relations

614-685-5420 (direct)

614-293-3737 (main)

Media staff are available by calling 614-293-3737 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


If after hours, please call 614-293-8000 (ask the operator to page the hospital administrative manager).

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