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Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., receives Eighth Annual AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research
Date:3/25/2011

ORLANDO, Fla. Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., will receive the Eighth Annual AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. Horwitz conducted pioneering research by discovering the mechanism of action of the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel (Taxol), which prompted the development of this drug as an important therapy for many common solid tumors, including ovarian, breast, and lung carcinomas. Her work has also contributed to the understanding of how microtubules function in normal and malignant cells and why stabilization of microtubules is a promising target for drug discovery.

"Dr. Horwitz has had a direct impact on millions of cancer patients around the world through her work in understanding the mechanisms of action of paclitaxel and other cytotoxic drugs," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. "Her remarkable career and pivotal scientific contributions have influenced our understanding of how cancer drugs work and how to translate that knowledge into improved strategic treatments."

Horwitz, an internationally recognized molecular pharmacologist and preeminent researcher, is the Rose C. Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research and co-chair of the department of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. She is the associate director for therapeutics at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center.

Horwitz has had a continuing interest in natural products as a source of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Her research has led to an understanding of the mechanisms of action and of resistance to taxanes, a class of anti-tumor drugs. Horwitz began investigating paclitaxel in 1977, after its isolation from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia, by Wall and Wani. Her group demonstrated that paclitaxel had a previously unknown mechanism of action involving the stabilization of microtubules, which inhibited the dynamic properties of the polymer. A
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Contact: Michele Sharp
Michele.Sharp@aacr.org
267-646-0622
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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