Kristiina Vuori Joins California Breast Cancer Research Council

Sanford-Burnham president and interim CEO will help oversee nation’s largest state-funded cancer-research effort.

Released: 9/20/2013 9:30 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
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Newswise — LA JOLLA, Calif., September 20, 2013 – Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., president and interim CEO of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), has been named to the California Breast Cancer Research Council, the official advisory body for the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP). Vuori, a distinguished cancer researcher who has devoted her career to unraveling the mechanisms of deadly cancer metastasis, will join the 15-member Council for CBCRP, the largest state-funded cancer research effort in the nation.

Vuori is a professor in Sanford-Burnham’s National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center, which she directed from 2005 to 2013. “It is an honor to be invited to serve on the Council,” said Vuori. “Breast cancer is a devastating illness, and finding ways to prevent and treat it has been a focus of my scientific research. California has a unique position of global leadership in the fight against breast cancer. I look forward to working with the other council members to keep our state at the forefront of this important cause.”

Vuori is a pioneer in the study of the most life-threatening aspect of cancer, tumor metastasis, which is responsible for nearly all deaths in cancer patients. Among her many scientific achievements, she has made seminal contributions to the field of cancer research through publications on cellular-communication networks that regulate cancer-cell survival, motility, and drug resistance.

Along with her research and Institute leadership roles, Vuori has emerged as a forceful public advocate for increasing biomedical research funding. She was a proponent for the 2012 statewide campaign to pass Proposition 29, the California Cancer Research Act, noting, “If we want California to continue as a world leader in technology and innovation, and in producing new diagnostics, treatments, and cures, we need the state’s support. We will continue to work hard to translate our cutting-edge medical research to benefit patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Vuori is a member of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Melanoma Dream Team. In 2011, the Team received a three-year grant of $6 million to explore a personalized-medicine approach to treating metastatic melanoma. She also serves on the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and on the Board for the American Association for Cancer Research. She is past chair of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program’s prestigious “Innovator Award” panel. She was a founding member of the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council, or C3, a unique collaboration that leverages the resources and talents of cancer researchers at Sanford-Burnham; the Salk Institute; and the University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center.

Established by the 1993 Breast Cancer Act and administered by the University of California, CBCRP awards grants and contracts to support a broad spectrum of breast-cancer research. Its mission is to eliminate breast cancer by leading innovation in research, communication, and collaboration in the California scientific and lay communities. Since 1994, it has awarded nearly $230 million in 939 grants to 107 institutions across the state.

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About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiometabolic disorders, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery and stem-cell technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs 1,200 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), California, and Orlando (Lake Nona), Florida. For more information, visit us at sanfordburnham.org.


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