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The Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Group™ Present Doctors Arakawa and Kurokawa With the 2011 'JCA-Mauvernay Award' for Their Innovative and Outstanding Research in the Field of Cancer
Date:10/5/2011

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group with a focus on drug development and companion diagnostics, today presented the 'JCA-Mauvernay Award' to Doctor Hirofumi Arakawa from the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo, for his basic research on the 'identification and characterization of p53 target genes' and to Doctor Mineo Kurokawa from the University of Tokyo, for his applied research on 'the molecular pathogenesis and therapeutic targets of hematological malignancies'. The ceremony was held during the 70th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) in Nagoya, Japan. This year the theme was 'Forward Strides for Cancer Research - Grounds for a Confident Future'. Professor Tetsuo Noda, President of the JCA and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, Founder and President of Debiopharm Group™ presented both scientists with the 2011 Award for their outstanding and innovative research.

Dr Hirofumi Arakawa works in the division of Cancer Biology at the National Cancer Center Research Institute. Since 1999, he has focused on the p53 (protein 53) tumour suppressor, which functions mainly by controlling the expression of a battery of genes involved in life and death of the cell, and which is referred to as "the guardian of the genome". Dr. Arakawa has identified, characterised and reported over 20 p53-regulated target genes.

Recently his group discovered an unusual mechanism for mitochondrial quality control, in which the p53 pathway controls mitochondrial quality by repairing or eliminating unhealthy mitochondria, suggesting that cancer cells might accumulate unhealthy mitochondria due to p53 mutations. Maintenance of healthy mitochondria prevents aging, cancer, and a variety of degenerative diseases, therefore Dr Arakawa's research offers a new approach of cancer and mitochondrial quality control, suggesting that p5
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SOURCE The Debiopharm Group
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