Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has named Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as one of the three recipients of this year’s Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, which recognizes promising investigators aged 45 or younger for their efforts in advancing the field of cancer research.
The others being honored are Simon J. Boulton, PhD, FMedSci, of Cancer Research UK and Duojia (DJ) Pan, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The three winners will each receive an award of $50,000 and will speak about their research at a scientific symposium to be held at Memorial Sloan-Kettering on Dec. 5.
“The three winners of this year’s Paul Marks Prize have all made major contributions to our understanding of the genetic changes that lead to tumor development or the mechanisms by which those changes occur,” said Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute and chair of the Paul Marks Prize selection committee. “The committee was particularly impressed that each of the winners has already established themselves as an international leader in their respective areas of scientific study at this early stage in their career.”
Garraway’s research is focused on three main areas: discovering new cancer genes that are relevant across many different types of cancer; studying how additional genetic or molecular changes enable tumors to develop resistance to targeted therapies, especially in melanoma; adapting genomic technology to enable its use by clinicians to develop better cancer treatments (so-called “precision” or “personalized” cancer medicine).
Garraway, who is also a senior associate member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and co-leader of the Cancer Genetics Program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, earned his AB from Harvard College, his MD degree from Harvard Medical School, and his PhD degree from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and his clinical fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and MGH. He joined the faculty of Dana-Farber in 2005 and the Broad Institute in 2006.
Since it was first presented in 2001, the biennial Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research has recognized 22 young scientists and has awarded nearly $1 million in prize money. The award was created to honor Dr. Marks, MD, president emeritus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, for his contributions as a scientist, teacher, and leader during the 19 years he headed the Center.