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American and Israeli Researchers Named 2012 Brinker Award Winners for Scientific Distinction

Dr. Hyman Muss and Prof. Yosef Yarden Honored by Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for Discoveries that Unraveled the Biology of Breast Cancer and Work to Improve Treatments

DALLAS – December 5, 2012 – An American clinician-scientist and an Israeli researcher whose work has led to more personalized treatments for breast cancer were awarded as this year’s winners of the prestigious Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science and Clinical Research, the highest awards of merit given by the world’s leading breast cancer organization. The awards were presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a major international gathering of breast cancer researchers, clinicians, and patient advocacy organizations from around the world being held Dec. 4-8 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction were established in 1992 to recognize the efforts of pioneers in two critically important areas of the fight to end breast cancer: clinical research and basic science. The roster of Komen Brinker Award laureates has grown to include names of researchers who have made the most significant advances in breast cancer research and medicine.

This year’s awards were presented to Hyman B. Muss, M.D., Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Geriatric Oncology Program at University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, and Yosef Yarden, Ph.D., of the Harold and Zelda Goldenberg Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the 20th anniversary of the Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction. Komen has invested more than $750 million in breast cancer research since opening its doors in 1982, and is the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.  Komen currently funds more than 500 research grants worldwide, including 154 grants totaling $58 million awarded this year to support new research and programs to advance understanding, prevention and treatment of breast cancer. 

 Muss - Brinker Award 

Dr. Muss is receiving the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research for his critical contributions to the treatment of breast cancer, in particular the treatment of breast cancer in older women.  His work on clinical trials specifically targeted to older women has provided the foundation for offering geriatric patients state-of-the art treatments and has had a significant impact on the standard of care and quality of life for elderly women with breast cancer.

 

Prof. Yarden is receiving the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science for his extensive contributions to breast cancer research, which have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the biology of growth factors and their receptors, and their role in human cancers.  His research has been crucial to establishing growth factor receptors—particularly the HER2 receptor—as prime targets for cancer drugs.  Yarden - Brinker Award 2012 

Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisors Dr. Eric Winer and Dr. George Sledge said this year’s awardees have made significant impacts on breast cancer research and treatment.

"Hy Muss is a thoughtful researcher and clinician who has made innumerable contributions to our current treatment of breast cancer,” said Winer. “He has long been a believer in personalized medicine, and recognized over two decades ago that no single approach was appropriate for all patients. His dedication to clinical studies in older women with breast cancer has provided us with critical insights about treatment of women over 65. Dr. Muss has always been viewed as an exceptionally kind and understated individual, and has maintained an uncompromising focus on training the next generation of cancer researchers."

Sledge praised Yarden’s work in unraveling the ways in which tumors grow. “Professor Yarden's work with the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor family, which includes HER2, has played an important part in educating us, and in showing the way for new life-saving treatments,” Sledge said.  “He is one of the great laboratory scientists of our time, and we are delighted to honor him for his many contributions to our field."