On June 5, 2020, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that it is honoring Michael Karin, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy, with the 2020 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research. Dr. Karin (photo) (https://profiles.ucsd.edu/michael.karin), Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at the University of California(UC) San Diego School of Medicine, is being recognized for unraveling the role of metabolic stress, inflammation, and immunosuppression in cancer by establishing the tumorigenic function of NF-κB in cancer progenitors and myeloid cells, and for explaining how inflammation and cancer are linked, laying down the basis for use of anti-cytokine and anti-inflammatory drugs in cancer prevention and treatment. The AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research (https://www.aacr.org/awards/aacr-g-h-a-clowes-award/) was established by the AACR and Eli Lilly and Co., in 1961 to honor Dr. G.H.A. Clowes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Henry_Alexander_Clowes), who was a founding member of the AACR and a research director at Eli Lilly. The award is intended to recognize an individual who has made outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. Dr. Karin is world-renowned for his seminal research establishing the relationship between chronic inflammation and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. He discovered that members of the IL-6 family of cytokines are capable of activating oncogenic transcription factors such as STAT3, resulting in colorectal and liver cancer onset. He also showed that IkB kinase contributes to colon, liver, and prostate cancer by activating NF-κB and its downstream expression of anti-apoptotic and growth-promoting genes.
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