Two more American Cancer Society researchers win Nobel Prize

October 08, 2007

ATLANTA, October 7, 2007 -- Two of the three scientists receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine received funding from the American Cancer Society early in their careers, bringing to 42 the number of Nobel Laureates among the Society's funded researchers.

Former grantees Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D. of the University of Utah and Oliver Smithies, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina are co-winners along with Sir Martin J. Evans of Cardiff University in Wales of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking discoveries that led to a technology known as gene targeting. Their work enabled scientists to develop targeted "gene knockout" mouse models that allows the study of specific genes involved in cancer, as well as in other diseases.

Like many Society-funded researchers, Drs. Capecchi and Smithies received American Cancer Society grants early in their careers, when funding is particularly hard to get. Dr. Capecchi received a four-year Faculty Research Award (FRA) from the American Cancer Society beginning July 1, 1974. Dr. Smithies received funds for an American Cancer Society Project Grant from July 1, 1974 - December 31, 1976.

"Throughout its more than 60-year history, the American Cancer Society's research department has recognized the importance of funding promising grants by scientists whose careers are in their infancy," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., national chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "In just the past four years, seven Society-funded researchers have won the Nobel Prize, a remarkable achievement that is unmatched in the non-profit sector. We congratulate these researchers for receiving this proud honor, which stands as strong evidence of the strength of the Society's peer-review process and the credibility of its research grant program."
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The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

American Cancer Society

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