Sanger Institute Scientist Awarded Cancer Research Prize
Professor Mike Stratton, Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and head of the Cancer Genome Project, has been presented with the Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting on 5 March 2010. The award recognizes a clinician or researcher, "whose contributions in the field of cancer research have been outstanding in importance and distinction."
The Award was founded in 1972 by Murray Gruber in memory of his first wife. The list of previous recipients includes Jacques Monod, the 'father of the gene', Bert Vogelstein and Robert Weinberg, luminaries of modern cancer research, and Nobel Laureates Michael Bishop, Howard Temin, Harald zur Hausen, Carol Greider and Stanley Cohen.
"I am deeply honoured to receive the Lila Gruber Award and most grateful to the Committee of American Academy of Dermatology for considering me. In doing so, however, the Committee has equally marked the contribution of so many close colleagues over the years whose enthusiasm, commitment and intelligence has been key to all the discoveries I have been involved in."
Professor Mike Stratton, Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Head of the Cancer Genome Project
The Award is given a recognized expert whose contributions in the field of cancer research have been outstanding in practice and distinction. The recipient must also have excellent and proven communication skills.
Mike led the group that mapped and then identified the high-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2. Grasping early the potential of the emerging human genome sequence to help to identify cancer genes, he proposed and founded the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 1999.
Under his leadership, the Cancer Genome Project has identified mutated genes involved in many cancers, for example the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma which has become an important target for therapeutic development in this disease. Their work in cancer genomics has delivered understanding of mutation processes in cancers as well as laying the foundations for improved diagnosis and targeted treatment.
Mike and his colleagues were founders of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, which aims to analyse the genomes from 25,000 cancer samples.
Mike has also been an important spokesperson for the Sanger Institute, cancer genomics and genetic research, contributing to government committees and international panels as well as media and other public communication work.
Mike also holds an appointment at the Institute of Cancer Research, based in Sutton, UK.