January 11, 2002

DuBois recognized for COX-2 advances

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DuBois recognized for COX-2 advances

Dr. Raymond DuBois, Mina Cobb Wallace Professor of Medicine and associate director of Cancer Prevention, has been selected to receive the 2002 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Cancer Research Award by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).

The award recognizes translational research that has made or promises to soon make a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer research. DuBois is the first Vanderbilt faculty member to be selected for this honor. He will receive the award during the 93rd AACR Annual Meeting in San Francisco April 6-10, where he will deliver an award lecture. He will also receive a commemorative plaque and $10,000 honorarium.

Founded in 1948 on the belief that those “who secure unusual benefits from society have an obligation to return to it the resources and creative energy requisite for human progress,” the Rosenthal Foundation strives to honor and provide incentive to young investigators early in their careers. Recipients of the award must not be more than 50 years old at the time the award is presented.

Nominated by Dr. Harold Moses, director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, DuBois is being recognized for his work demonstrating the involvement of the COX-2 enzyme in colon cancer and research indicating COX-2 inhibitors may prove useful in the treatment or prevention of colon cancer. COX-2 is an enzyme found primarily in inflammatory and immune cells and is suspected to play a role in the control of cell growth. DuBois recently co-chaired a symposium at Vanderbilt on the subject and addressed the effect of celecoxib and other COX-2 inhibitors in familial adenomatus polyposis (FAP) and colon cancer.

“This is a prestigious award and Ray certainly deserves it”, Moses said. “His body of work is certainly meritorious and he clearly meets the requirements. He has international stature. His research is certainly translational and has already led to highly promising directions for early detection and treatment of colon cancer.”

DuBois joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1991 and serves as the director of the Division of Gastroenterology. Internationally recognized for his work in the field of cancer prevention, DuBois has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the American Federation of Medical Research (AMFR) Young Investigator Award (April 2000), the Vanderbilt University Department of Medicine E.V. Newman Research Prize (April 2000), and the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) Young Investigator Award (August 1996). DuBois was also accepted into the Royal College of Physicians in September 2000, the only American accepted into the RCP that year. DuBois also serves as president of both the Gastroenterology Research Group of the AGA and the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation.

Since 1999, DuBois has also been involved with the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, led by Katie Couric of NBC’s “Today” show. The goal of this organization is raise private funding for colorectal cancer research and increase both public awareness and screening for the disease.

Collaboration and teamwork are key to the success of any investigator, and DuBois credits his colleagues as being instrumental in his achievements. “None of this would be possible without the help of the people who have worked in the laboratory over the last decade,” he emphasized.

Not only is the award an honor for DuBois, it is also exciting to others within the Vanderbilt community. “Ray continues to be recognized nationally for his leadership in cancer research, and we are delighted he is making these important contributions here at Vanderbilt,” said Dr. Eric G. Neilson, Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. “The Rosenthal Award is very fitting to the translational approach of the DuBois laboratory and the significant contribution they have made to cancer medicine.”