Wistar Scientist Is Chair Of 1998 American Association For Cancer Research Program Committee

March 12, 1998

Philadelphia--Frank J. Rauscher III, Ph.D., professor and head of The Wistar Institute's Molecular Genetics Program, has been named Chair of the 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), to be held March 28-April 1, 1998 in New Orleans. He also is Chair of the Plenary Session on New Horizons in Cancer Research, which will survey the latest advances in cancer detection and treatment.

The purpose of the annual AACR meeting is to bring together scientists from around the world to discuss the latest developments in basic, clinical and translational cancer research. The Philadelphia-based AACR has a worldwide membership of over 14,000 cancer researchers, with more than 7,500 expected to attend this year's program.

The meeting will feature 4,500 abstracts and approximately 200 presentations. It also will include a special late-breaking research session that will feature important findings of the past several months.

Some of the discoveries to be discussed are identification of a hereditary gastric cancer gene, a serum protein that may be useful for assessing prostate cancer risk, and the prevention of lung cancer with the use of aerosol inhalants.

Dr. Rauscher is widely recognized in the scientific community for his ground-breaking research on Wilms' tumor, a kidney cancer typically diagnosed in children under the age of six. It affects one in 10,000 newborns worldwide and is caused by a malfunction of the Wilms' tumor 1 gene (WT1).

Just recently, Dr. Rauscher and his Wistar research team, working in collaboration with a group of international scientists, identified a new gene, BAP1, which is associated with breast and lung cancer development. The discovery of BAP1 makes it possible to do genetic testing for its presence, making it a potential target for drugs that combat breast and lung cancers.

Dr. Rauscher, whose research centers on gene regulation and molecular oncology, has worked at The Wistar Institute since 1990. He currently serves as Associate Editor of Cancer Research, is on the editorial board of Cell Growth & Differentiation and on the editorial academy of the International Journal of Oncology. He is a manuscript reviewer for roughly 30 scientific journals, and is a reviewer for the State of New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and the United States-Israeli Binational Science Foundation.

Among his many other activities, Dr. Rauscher is an established investigator in the Molecular Approaches to Pediatric-Science Child Health Research Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and at The Penn Center for Molecular Studies of Kidney Diseases.

The Wistar Institute, established in 1892, was the first independent medical research facility in the country. For more than 100 years, Wistar scientists have been making history and improving world health through their development of vaccines for diseases that include rabies, German measles, infantile gastroenteritis (rotavirus), and cytomegalovirus; discovery of molecules like interleukin-12, which are helping the immune system fight bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer; and location of genes that contribute to the development of diseases like breast, lung and prostate cancer. Wistar is a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.

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The Wistar Institute

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