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February 5, 1998

Dickson Prize awarded to NCI director

National Cancer Institute (NCI) director Richard Klausner has been selected as the 1997-98 winner of the Dickson Prize in Medicine.

Klausner will be recognized for his pioneering research and significant contributions to medical science on Feb. 16.

The Dickson Prize in Medicine, awarded by Pitt, and the Dickson Prize in Science, awarded by Carnegie Mellon University, honor the nation's outstanding leaders in science and medicine. The awards were established in 1969 by the estates of Joseph Z. and Agnes Fischer Dickson.

As NCI director, Klausner has initiated a national cancer genetics network and encouraged the development of new technologies to help physicians detect cancer earlier and develop molecular therapies against tumor cells.

He is well known for his contributions to the fields of cell and molecular biology. Most recently, he collaborated with NCI scientists to study the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene and its role in the development of kidney cancer. He described novel mechanisms by which genes are regulated and helped to illuminate the structure and function of the T-cell antigen receptor, the central molecule of the immune system. Additionally, he has uncovered ways that molecules travel and speak to each other within the cell.

Klausner's work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation of Clinical Research and the William Damashak Prize for Major Discoveries in Hematology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. He recently was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

He will present "Cancer Genetics: A Case Study" at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in lecture room 6 of Scaife Hall. A reception will be held in the Scaife Hall lobby after the lecture. On Feb. 17 at 9 a.m., Klausner will lecture on "Regulating the Fate of RNA" in lecture room 5 of Scaife Hall.

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