AACR Honors Douglas Hanahan, PhD, With AACR Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Award

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Douglas Hanahan, PhD

Douglas Hanahan, PhD, Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Lausanne, Switzerland, was recently honored with the 11th annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. The award was presented during the AACR Annual Meeting held recently in San Diego.

AACR presented Dr. Hanahan with the award in recognition of his career-long history of making groundbreaking discoveries that have had an extraordinary impact on cancer research nationally and internationally. 

 “Dr. Hanahan is a preeminent scientist and we are very pleased to recognize his stellar contributions to a number of areas in cancer research,” said Margaret Foti, MD, PhD, (h.c.), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR.

“His ability to integrate ideas from many areas of cancer biology helped establish a paradigm-shifting framework for studying cancer that has provided a foundation for cancer researchers and those looking to identify new therapeutic targets for more than a decade. We look forward to watching him build on his seminal accomplishments in the coming years,” Dr. Foti said.

Ushered in Genetic Era of Cancer Research

“I am honored by this recognition, not only of my past accomplishments in cancer research, but also of my future potential to continue contributing to our mission to better understand mechanisms and apply such knowledge toward improved therapies for human cancer,” said Dr. Hanahan.

Dr. Hanahan is recognized as a pioneer in several fields of cancer research. He helped usher in the genetic era of cancer research whereby researchers use genetically engineered mouse models of cancer to further the understanding of cancer initiation and progression. He developed one of the first transgenic mouse models of cancer and demonstrated that oncogenes could initiate multistep tumorigenesis. He also used his transgenic mice to study the immune system and made groundbreaking contributions to understanding autoimmunity. Dr. Hanahan also collaborated with the late Judah Folkman, MD, helping to establish the field of tumor angiogenesis.

Fellow of AACR Academy, Dr. Hanahan’s research achievements have also been recognized this year with election as a Fellow of the AACR Academy.

Dr. Hanahan received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and his doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University. Before moving to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he was Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. ■