Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brupbacher Prize goes to B. Vogelstein & J. Hoeijmakers for research on colorectal and skin cancer

17.02.2011
Today, the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research 2011 goes to two researchers who have contributed to better understanding of the genetics underlying the growth of tumors.

Oncologist Bert Vogelstein has demonstrated how sequential accumulation of mutations leads to colorectal cancer, and Jan H. Hoeijmakers has conducted breakthrough research in xeroderma, a hereditary disease causing skin cancer.

For the tenth time, the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize will be awarded in conjunction with an international symposium. The prize of 100,000 Swiss francs for each scientist, is one of the world’s most prestigious honors in cancer research. The prize is awarded every two years to investigators who have made outstanding contributions to oncology. The symposium will also honor five junior researchers who will receive a Young Investigator Award.

This year's Brupbacher Prize goes to Prof. Bert Vogelstein of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA) and to Prof. Jan. H. Hoeijmakers of Erasmus University, Rotterdam (Netherlands). The findings of both researchers have contributed greatly to the understanding of the genetic basis of tumor growth. Bert Vogelstein's main area of research is colorectal cancer, Jan Hoeijmakers' is skin cancer. The particular significance of their findings lies in their general relevance: Cancer of the colon and rectum is closely linked to lifestyle of Western populations and is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Europe. Hoeijmakers’ findings do not only shed light on skin tumors, but also on premature aging.

Bert Vogelstein

Bert Vogelstein ranks among the most-quoted scientists in the field of biomedicine. He is best-known for his groundbreaking work on the genesis of cancer of the colon. Tumors in the large intestine (colon) lend themselves particularly well to analysis because their progression from a benign growth to a malignant tumor can be clinically observed by means of colonoscopies.

Vogelstein has observed that initial, small accumulations of atypical cells are caused by a mutation of the APC gene, a tumor-suppressor gene that controls cell division. The mutation of the APC gene is also responsible for inherited familial adenomatous polyposis, a disease characterized by a great number of polyps in the intestinal wall. If not removed, these polyps can develop into colon cancer.

Additional mutations activate genes coding for growth factors (oncogenes).as well as in other tumor suppressor genes. All of these DNA mutations mediate a slow but steady growth from initially small, then larger benign polyps that then progress into a carcinoma. Although it takes an average of 17 years for a small polyp to develop into a carcinoma, the process then accelerates, leading typically within two more years to a highly malignant carcinoma that metastasizes to regional lymph nodes and distant organs.

Vogelstein's findings on the sequential accumulation of mutations and tumor growth have received wide-spread recognition and provide the basis for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer. Vogelstein has recently begun analyzing entire cancer genomes, i.e. the sum of all genes in a cell. Understanding the genetic make-up of a tumor provides the basis for personalized tumor therapy, a major goal in clinical oncology.

Jan H. Hoeijmakers

Jan Hoeijmakers has made an outstanding contribution by elucidating the molecular basis of hereditary diseases caused by defective DNA repair. There are multiple pathways for the repair of damaged DNA. If left unrepaired, this increases the risk of several diseases, including cancer. Dr. Hoeijmakers has performed innovative research on xeroderma pigmentosum, a hereditary skin disease that is characterized by extreme sensitivity to UV rays and the development of multiple, often malignant tumors in skin regions exposed to sunlight. Ultraviolet rays cause damage involving chemical links between coding DNA bases, particularly thymine. During cell division and in the absence of efficient repair, this leads to permanent mutations in daughter cells. Patients affected by xeroderma pigmentosum demonstrate a reduced DNA repair capacity.

Hoeijmakers identified and characterized multiple genes involved in the repair process. He was able to show that certain forms of limited DNA repair capacity can bring about the exact opposite of a tumor, namely premature aging.

A complex DNA repair system ensures the stability of our genome. Jan Hoeijmakers has earned international recognition for having identified key aspects of the molecular basis of DNA repair and the role it plays in both, the development of tumors and in premature aging.

The foundation:
The Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Foundation was founded in 1991 by Mme. Frédérique Brupbacher in memory of her husband, Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher. The foundation is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich. More information on the foundation is available at www.brupbacher-stiftung.ch
Contact information:
Prof. Paul Kleihues
C.R. Brupbacher Stiftung
c/o Dean's Office, Faculty of Medicine
University of Zurich
Phone: +41 79 738 34 72
E-Mail: brupbacher-stiftung@dekmed.uzh.ch

Beat Müller | idw
Further information:
http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch/articles/2011/brupbacher-preis-2011_en.html
http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch/articles/2011/brupbacher-preis-2011.html

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht The quest for the oldest ice on Earth
14.11.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Empa Innovation Award for new flame retardant
09.11.2016 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>