Issue Date: January 8, 2018
George & Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Research: Paul J. Hergenrother
Sponsor: George & Christine Sosnovsky Endowment Fund
Citation: For his many achievements in new compounds, targets, and translational pathways for cancer therapy, including the treatment of canine/feline patients with spontaneous cancer.
Current position: Kenneth L. Rinehart Jr. Endowed Chair in Natural Products Chemistry and professor of chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Education: B.S., chemistry, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., chemistry and biochemistry, University of Texas, Austin
Hergenrother on what gets his creative juices flowing: It is an amazing time to be in anticancer research, with rapid advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The challenge now is making the leap from short-lived responses and low percentage of responders to durable responses and cures in large numbers of patients. This leap will require a detailed understanding of the vulnerabilities of each patient’s cancer, coupled with the identification of drugs that can exploit these defects.”
What his colleagues say: “Paul exemplifies all of the best characteristics of an academic scientist dedicated to carrying out translational research that will genuinely impact people’s lives. He is willing to take chances in tackling—from start to finish—the most important types of problems, and this approach has reaped dividends; he has taken an anticancer strategy from conception of a novel target, to screening and drug development, and to Phase I clinical trial—a feat that is almost unprecedented in academics.”—Scott E. Denmark, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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