Elaine Fuchs, PhD
Elaine Fuchs, PhD, is the recipient of the 24th annual Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer. It is given annually to a renowned cancer researcher who is invited to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James) to accept the award and deliver the annual Block Lecture to an audience of approximately 300 scientists and donors. The Block Lectureship was established by the Block family of Columbus to honor the memory of their parents, Maxine and Herbert J. Block, who both died of cancer. A monetary award of $50,000 is associated with the Block Memorial Lectureship, making it one of the largest prizes awarded by an academic institution in the field of cancer.
Considered a pioneer in the study of biology and molecular mechanisms of skin and skin disease, Dr. Fuchs is known for identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying skin disease, developing the field of skin stem cells, and pioneering the concept of “reverse genetics.” This approach involves elucidating the genetic basis of human diseases by examining how mutant proteins alter tissue functions in mice. Her most recent work focuses on the similarities and differences between normal stem cells and tumor-causing “cancer stem cells.”
Dr. Fuchs received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois and her doctoral degree in biochemistry from Princeton University, then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds honorary doctorates in science from New York University, the University of Illinois, Albany Medical College, and Harvard University.
Dr. Fuchs is currently an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and as the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at the Rockefeller University in New York. Her lab focuses on understanding skin stem cells and the overall process of tissue dynamics in normal skin development, homeostasis, and wound repair. This work builds a foundation for understanding how these processes go awry in aging and in genetic skin diseases. ■