AsianScientist (Apr. 3, 2013) – Dr. Alex Matter, father of targeted cancer therapies, will receive the 8th Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research this Friday at an award ceremony at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in the United States.
Dr. Matter is being honored for his contributions to the development of the first drug specifically targeting a molecular lesion in cancer.
“Alex Matter is the father of targeted cancer therapies,” said Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., winner of the 7th Szent-Györgyi Prize and Chair of the 2013 Prize Selection Committee. “Dr. Matter’s leadership in building the synergy between pharmaceutical companies, universities, and research hospitals changed both the way we treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and our approach to developing new anticancer drugs.”
The preclinical research led by Dr. Matter demonstrated that it is possible to counteract cancer by specifically inhibiting the activity of key oncogenic molecules, turning deadly cancers into treatable diseases.
Imatinib mesylate, or Gleevec, contributed to a major breakthrough in the treatment of CML, transforming the prognosis of CML from dismal and often deadly to a nearly 90 percent long-term survival with little or no side-effects.
“I am deeply honored to receive the 2013 Szent-Györgyi Prize,” said Dr. Matter, CEO of the Experimental Therapeutic Center of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. “I am receiving this great honor on behalf of a wonderful and international team with whom I had the privilege to work over many years.”
Prior to his role at A*STAR, Dr. Matter was Director of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore, and Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Head of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, and Global Head of Translational Research.
Dr. Matter is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the National Medical Research Council in Singapore, and the Board of Curiox, a Singapore-based start-up company, and is also an elected member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.
The Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was established by the National Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of its co-founder, Albert Szent-Györgyi,, M.D., Ph.D., recipient of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.
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