Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. — Harold L. Moses, M.D., will be honored with the 10th Annual American Association for Cancer Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, held in Washington, D.C., April 6-10.
Moses, who served as president of the AACR from 1991 to 1992, is the founding director and current director emeritus of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. He is also the Hortense B. Ingram professor of molecular oncology, director of the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories and professor of cancer biology, medicine and pathology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.
The AACR established the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research in 2004 to honor an individual who has made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. These contributions, whether they have been in research, leadership or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer. It will be presented at the opening ceremony on Sunday, April 7 at 8:15 a.m., in Ballroom A-B in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“Dr. Moses is a pioneer in the field of growth factors and tumor suppressors,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “His lifelong groundbreaking research accomplishments and extraordinary leadership in the field are testament to his dedication and commitment to progress against cancer.”
The seminal research on transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) by Moses has revolutionized our understanding of the role of positive and negative growth regulators in cancer development. The Moses laboratory, in the early 1980s, isolated and purified this peptide and discovered that it had an antiproliferative activity. Studies from his laboratory demonstrated the involvement of TGF-beta in the synthesis of proteins that block the activation of the tumor suppressor gene Rb, resulting in the arrest of the cell cycle at the G1-S phase. This causes suppression of the proto-oncogene c-myc, which is involved in cell cycle progression.
The Moses laboratory also demonstrated the decrease in proliferation and development of the mammary ducts when TGF-beta is overexpressed in mammary epithelia. Using crossbreeding experiments, they showed that TGF-beta suppresses mammary cancer formation induced by an oncogene or a chemical carcinogen, DMBA.
One of the major discoveries by Moses and his group is the demonstration that the loss of TGF-beta signaling in certain stromal cells results in the induction of cancer in the adjacent epithelial cells. They also showed that the knocked-out stromal cells secrete paracrine factors to cause this effect. Their studies described the recruitment of myeloid progenitor cells subsequent to the loss of TGF-beta signaling, which suppresses immune response and creates a microenvironment that is conducive to tumor growth and metastasis. His recent work demonstrated that TGF-beta signaling plays a role in suppressing chemokines and, therefore, loss of its expression results in a poor progression-free survival among certain subsets of breast cancer.
Moses has been honored for his work with many accolades, including two Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Esther Langer Award from the University of Chicago and the Rouse-Whipple Award from the American Association of Pathologists. He served as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chemical Pathology Study Section, chair of the NCI Cancer Center’s review panel and co-chair of the Breast Cancer Progress Review Group for the NCI. Moses is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies and was founding chair of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the IOM. He co-chaired the Program Steering Committee for the Tumor Microenvironment Network of the NCI for the first five years of the program.
In addition to serving as president of the AACR, Moses was highly involved with the organization in numerous other ways, including as a member of the Nominating Committee, as associate editor of Cancer Research and as a mentor at several grant-writing workshops, among other responsibilities.
Moses graduated from Berea College in Berea, Ky. and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. He completed his residency at Vanderbilt and postdoctoral research training at the NIH. Moses then spent five years as a faculty member at Vanderbilt and then joined the Department of Cell Biology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. before returning to Vanderbilt in 1985 as chair of the Department of Cell Biology.
# # #
Press registration for the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 is free to qualified journalists and public information officers: www.aacr.org/PressRegistration.
About the American Association for Cancer ResearchFounded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.