On May 26, 2020, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that it is recognizing Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy and Nobel Laureate, with the 17th AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. Dr. Sharp, an Institute professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, is being honored for his exceptional body of groundbreaking and high-impact basic research, including his seminal co-discovery of RNA splicing. For this discovery, Dr. Sharp was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Sir Richard J. Roberts, PhD. This body of research fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of the structure of genes, shaping our understanding of RNA biology and our knowledge of the genetic causes of cancer and other diseases. “Dr. Sharp is a luminary in the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry who has dedicated his research career to advancing our understanding of the molecular biology of gene expression as it pertains to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “He is one of the most creative scientific thinkers of our time, always looking to push the boundaries to address the enormous challenges that cancer still poses. We are very proud to honor him with this special award.” The AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was established in 2004 to honor individuals who have made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a collective 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.
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