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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Harold F. Dvorak, M.D., wins Gairdner Award
Date:3/28/2014

BOSTON Harold F. Dvorak, MD, senior investigator in the Center for Vascular Biology Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and former chairman of BIDMC's Department of Pathology, is one of eight scientists to win the 2014 Canada Gairdner Awards, which recognize some of the most significant medical discoveries from around the world. Awarded by the Gairdner Foundation, based in Canada, the awards are considered among the most prestigious international awards in medical research.

Dvorak, the Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, has been recognized for his landmark discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the development of effective anti-VEGF therapy for cancer and wet macular degeneration. VEGF is a key molecular mediator of new blood vessel formation.

The Gairdner Awards recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. This year's winners showcase a broad range of new medical discoveries related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, immunotherapy and human parasitic diseases.

"Hal Dvorak's groundbreaking discovery of the VEGF signaling protein helped form the basis for the field of angiogenesis, and led to an entirely new means of treating cancer and other diseases by starving blood supply to tumors," says BIDMC Chief Academic Officer Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, PhD. "Hal is truly a pioneer among cancer researchers and this honor reflects a tremendous body of work that he and his colleagues have conducted over the years. The idea that cancer is a wound that does not heal, as suggested by Hal years ago, has had profound therapeutic implications that are only now starting to be truly recognized."

Dvorak's initial characterization of VEGF as a permeability enhancing factor further suggested that antibodies to it may be effective in treating states of vascular leak, includin
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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