Eureka Alert

IMAGE: This is John Mendelsohn, M.D. view more 

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

HOUSTON – Targeted cancer therapy pioneer John Mendelsohn, M.D., researcher and former president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will share the 2018 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science for his leadership in developing antibodies to block cancer-promoting growth factor receptors on the surface of cancer cells.

In announcing the award on June 19 in Taiwan, the Tang Foundation noted the three awardees launched the field of targeted therapy – attacking tumors based on their genetic and molecular aberrations — with their research to understand the role of tyrosine kinase proteins and to design ways to block their activity.

Their work led to “a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of cell growth and cancer development,” the Tang Foundation noted in its announcement, and the therapies they developed “fundamentally changed the practices of cancer clinics.”

Mendelsohn, president of MD Anderson from 1996 to 2011, is a professor of Genomic Medicine and director of the Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy at MD Anderson, as well as the L.E. & Virginia Simmons Senior Fellow in the Division of Health and Technology Policy at Rice University’s


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