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Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., recognized with American Association for Cancer Research award

(MEMPHIS, Tenn. March 25, 2011) Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., a world renowned leukemia physician and researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, is the recipient of the 2011 Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research is presented to a scientist who has made exceptional achievements in clinical cancer research. Pui will accept the award during the 102nd AACR Annual Meeting, in Orlando, Fla., in early April.

Pui is chair of the Department of Oncology at St. Jude and an American Cancer Society Professor. Additionally, he is co-leader of the hospital's Hematological Malignancies Program; medical director of the St. Jude International Outreach China Program; and holder of the Fahad Nassar Al-Rashid Chair of Leukemia Research.

"One of Dr. Pui's great strengths, beyond his unsurpassed wealth of knowledge about treating leukemia, is that he brings together a broad array of scientists and clinical investigators to participate in developing and conducting new ALL treatment protocols," said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO, and a long-time collaborator of Dr. Pui's. "He is like a great conductor drawing together the best musicians to create something that is extraordinary and far greater than any one person playing alone."

Pui has played a key role in a series of treatment protocols responsible for raising cure rates of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, from about 70 percent in the early 1980s to an unprecedented 90 percent at St. Jude today. His work has shown that cranial irradiation, once regarded as a standard treatment for childhood ALL, can be omitted altogether, thus sparing patients from devastating side effects and enhancing their quality of life.

More recently, his treatment approach resulted in a remarkably high cure rate approaching 90 percent in older adolescents with ALL. Pui's team pioneered the use of pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics to individualize chemotherapy and to optimize the use of existing drugs; and used genome-wide analyses to accurately classify leukemias, to identify cooperative genetic mutations of leukemic cells and molecular targets for therapy, and to disclose host genes associated with the development of leukemia.

Pui has authored more than 700 original articles and chapters, edited seven books and monographs, and serves as section editor or editorial board member for several esteemed journals. He is also one of the most highly cited authors in clinical medicine research. Pui's many awards and honors include elected memberships in the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the 2009 AACR Team Science Award, and the 2010 Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award.


Contact: Summer Freeman
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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