The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has recognized Tyler Jacks, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy, with the 2020 AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship. Dr. Jacks is Director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He is being recognized for transforming cancer research and the development of treatments through his remarkable advancement of genetically engineered mouse models and for his seminal discoveries related to oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, cell death, and immune system regulation of tumor progression.
Tyler Jacks, PhD
Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
“We are delighted to recognize [Dr. Jacks’] exceptional body of innovative work,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “His groundbreaking research has provided deep insights into cancer initiation and progression and has led to the identification of promising new treatments for cancer patients worldwide.”
Genetic Engineering Research
Dr. Jacks’ career has focused on understanding the genetic events that drive the development of cancer by applying the most advanced techniques of genetic engineering to develop mouse models of disease. He and researchers in his laboratory have
engineered mice to carry mutations in many genes known to be involved in human cancer, including tumor suppressor genes such as Rb; oncogenes such as KRAS; and genes involved in oxidative stress, DNA damage and repair, and epigenetic control of gene expression. These preclinical models have since enabled researchers to further investigate the fundamental initiation and progression mechanisms of colon, lung, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers as well as astrocytomas, peripheral nervous system tumors, retinoblastomas, and soft-tissue sarcomas.
Dr. Jacks completed his doctorate in Biochemistry under the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus at the University of California, San Francisco.
About the Award
The AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship is awarded to a scientist whose novel and significant fundamental scientific work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the detection, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer and who embodies the dedication of the Princess to outstanding cancer research and advances that emanate from multinational collaborations. Her Imperial Highness Princess Kikuko Takamatsu was personally instrumental in promoting progress against cancer. She became a champion of these causes following her mother’s death from bowel cancer in 1933 at the age of 43.