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2019 Program Tang Prize Award Lecture

2019 EB Tang Prize Award Lecture

Dr. Brian Druker is an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Director at The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology at OHSU. He is a Chemist with specializations in Cancer Biology, Medicine and Translational Research. Along with Dr. Tony Hunter and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Dr. Druker is awarded for the discovery of protein tyrosine phosphorylation and tyrosine kinases as oncogenes, leading to successful targeted cancer therapies

He will present his lecture "Imatinib as a Paradigm of Targeted Cancer Therapies" at Experimental Biology 2019.

About Dr. Druker's Lecture

Abl is a tyrosine kinase, the gene of which upon translocation to a different chromosomal site (Bcr [breakpoint cluster region]) becomes constitutively active. In addition to Abl, Gleevec also inhibits Kit, PDGF and other tyrosine kinase oncoproteins. It has been useful in the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and certain types of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) where Kit is overexpressed. Now there are more than 29 TKIs which have been approved for clinical use. Clearly, Dr. Druker’s first successful trials heralded this still burgeoning targeted therapy era. Dr. Druker was also involved in the development of the 4G10 antibody (at Thomas Robert’s lab) which recognizes phosphotyrosine and was used by Novartis colleagues in the screening of Gleevec. Thus, Dr. Druker’s contributions are in both the development and application of Gleevec, which was the first successful example of tyrosine kinase-targeted therapy by small molecule inhibitors.

About the Tang Prize

In the advent of industrialization and globalization, humanity has greatly enjoyed the convenience brought about by science and technology, reaping unprecedented benefits made possible by progress and development. Yet, humanity also faces a multitude of critical environmental, socio-cultural, and ethical issues on an unparalleled scale, such as climate change, inequality, and moral degradation. Against this backdrop, Dr. Samuel Yin established the Tang Prize in December 2012 to encourage individuals across the globe to chart the middle path to achieving sustainable development by recognizing and supporting contributors for their revolutionary efforts in the four major fields of Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law. The Tang Prize is truly global in reach, with laureates selected on the basis of the originality of their work along with their contributions to society irrespective of their nationality or ethnicity.

Rooted in the long-standing cultural traditions of Chinese philosophical thinking and in an outlook of convergence and mutual enrichment with other traditions, the Tang Prize aims to provide fresh impetus to promote first-class research and development in the 21st century. Ultimately, the Tang Prize seeks to bring about positive change to the global community and to create a brighter future for all humanity.

About the Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science

The Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science recognizes original biopharmaceutical or biomedical research that has led to significant advances towards preventing, diagnosing and/or treating major human diseases to improve human health.  

The 2014 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science was awarded to James P. Allison (2015 EB Tang Prize Award Lecture) and Tasuku Honjo (2016 EB Tang Prize Award Lecture) for the discoveries of CTLA-4 and PD-1 as immune inhibitory molecules that led to their applications in cancer immunotherapy.

The 2016 Tang Prize (2017 EB Tang Prize Award Lecture) in Biopharmaceutical Science was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer A. Doudna, and Feng Zhang (2018 EB Tang Prize Award Lecture) for the development of CRISPR/Cas9 as a breakthrough genome editing platform that promises to revolutionize biomedical research and disease treatment.

For more information on these laureates, please visit the Tang Prize Foundation website.


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