Nav: Home

One of world's leading scientists, Dr. Matthew L. Meyerson, to receive Han-Mo Koo Memorial Award

April 14, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 14, 2016)--In recognition of his immeasurable contributions to the understanding of cancer genomics and targeted therapies, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) will present renowned scientist Matthew L. Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D., with the 2016 Han-Mo Koo Memorial Award. As part of the award, Meyerson will deliver an educational lecture May 19 and a scientific lecture May 20 at the Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"Dr. Meyerson is one of the world's most influential scientists and is responsible for much of what we know about the genomic causes of cancer," said VARI's Chief Scientific Officer Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc. "In keeping with the legacy of Dr. Han-Mo Koo, Dr. Meyerson's research has had an overwhelmingly positive and tangible effect on patients thanks to the therapeutic strategies developed based on his work. We look forward to celebrating and honoring his substantial and exceptional achievements."

Meyerson's research helped establish the paradigm that cancer may be treated by targeting its underlying genetic causes. In particular, his lab identified numerous genetic mutations that contribute to lung cancer and uncovered how these mutations respond to targeted therapies. His lab also has developed novel approaches for identifying pathogens that may cause cancer, including bacteria that are linked to colorectal cancer. Earlier in his career, he contributed to key discoveries that expanded the field's understanding of CDKs, which play crucial roles in cell cycle regulation and can be involved in cancer development, and telomerase, an enzyme that can contribute to tumor progression.

In addition to his roles as director of the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, Meyerson also serves as a lead investigator for The Cancer Genome Atlas, a National Institutes of Health-funded, multi-institutional endeavor to genomically characterize many different cancer types.

The Han-Mo Koo Memorial Award was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Han-Mo Koo, Ph.D., one of VARI's founding investigators. As head of the Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics, Koo established several important projects focused on the identification of genetic targets for anti-cancer drugs, specifically for melanoma and pancreatic cancer. He passed away in 2004 following a six-month battle with cancer. Awardees are selected based on their scientific achievements, peer recognition and, importantly, their contributions to human health in alignment with Koo's legacy. Past honorees include Eric Lander, Ph.D.; Frank P. McCormick, Ph.D., FRS; and Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D.

The lectures are free and open to the public. A wine and cheese reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, and will be followed by the award presentation and Dr. Meyerson's educational lecture entitled From cancer genes to cancer treatment at 5:15 p.m. The scientific lecture, Somatic genome alterations in human cancers, will be held at 10 a.m. the next day, Friday, May 20. Registration may be completed at

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 350 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI's research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute's scientists work in onsite laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Learn more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®

Van Andel Research Institute

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
New analytical technology to quantify anti-cancer drugs inside cancer cells
University of Oklahoma researchers will apply a new analytical technology that could ultimately provide a powerful tool for improved treatment of cancer patients in Oklahoma and beyond.
Radiotherapy for lung cancer patients is linked to increased risk of non-cancer deaths
Researchers have found that treating patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer with a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy is associated with a small but increased risk of death from causes other than cancer.
Cancer expert says public health and prevention measures are key to defeating cancer
Is investment in research to develop new treatments the best approach to controlling cancer?
UI Cancer Center, Governors State to address cancer disparities in south suburbs
The University of Illinois Cancer Center and Governors State University have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago's south suburbs.
Leading cancer research organizations to host international cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute, the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, the European Academy of Tumor Immunology, and the American Association for Cancer Research will join forces to sponsor the first International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, Sept.

Related Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...