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Lombardi Cancer Center's Toretsky awarded prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award
Date:3/7/2008

Jeffrey A. Toretsky, M.D., a pediatric oncology physician and researcher at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a prestigious Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF). The $750,000 award, one of only 13 given in 2008, is "intended to support established, independent physician-scientists who are dedicated to translational research -- the two-way transfer between laboratory research and patient treatment -- and mentoring physician-scientist trainees."

According to the BWF, "The award provides the freedom and flexibility to explore scientific questions, apply the resulting knowledge at the bedside, and bring insights from the clinical setting back to the laboratory for further study."

Translational Research Awards provide $150,000 per year over five years.

"We hope these awards will lead to better understanding of the mechanisms of disease as well as new methods of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease," said BWF President Enriqueta C. Bond, Ph.D. "BWF particularly is interested in supporting physician-scientists who bring novel ideas and new approaches to translational research."

Toretsky actively pursues research that will lead to new and more specific therapies for Ewing's sarcoma, a solid tumor in bone or soft tissue that primarily occurs in children and young adults. Specifically, the focus of his research is to identify the molecular mechanisms of a gene mutated in Ewing's sarcoma, known as EWS-FLI1, and to develop therapeutic inhibitors against this protein to treat the disease.

"This award will significantly aid us in advancing our work in Ewing's sarcoma and I'm truly honored," said Toretsky. "Specifically, we'll use the award to accelerate our efforts in finding new treatments for this cancer by engaging a unique drug discovery laboratory at Georgetown."

The drug discovery program at Georgetown Univers
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
414-312-7085
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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