Inaugural awards benefit research, patient care in prostate cancer, cancer genomics and breast cancer
Christopher Logothetis, M.D., chair and professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, is the recipient of the inaugural Finneran Family Prize. The $50,000 cash award will be given annually to a leading faculty member who conducts research that translates laboratory findings into clinical treatments for patients.
The award was established through the $1 million Finneran Family Endowment in Translational Research at MD Anderson, in recognition of the treatment MD Anderson Board of Visitors member Bill Finneran received as a prostate cancer patient under Logothetis’ care.
In addition to his work in Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Logothetis is a co-leader of MD Anderson’s Prostate Cancer Moon Shot. Prostate cancer is one of eight cancers initially targeted by the Moon Shots Program, MD Anderson’s accelerated effort to dramatically improve survival rates and transform cancer care through innovations in research, prevention, early detection and treatment.
The $100,000 cash prize will be awarded annually to an MD Anderson faculty member, and will alternate each year between researchers and clinicians. MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors member Jack Randall and his wife, Beverly, established the prize through a $1 million endowment.
Futreal is recognized internationally as a pioneer in large-scale systematic cancer genomics, which led to the identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility genes, BRAF mutations in melanoma, ERBB2 mutations in non-small cell lung cancer and multiple new cancer genes in renal cell carcinoma.
He also is co-leader of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program.
Each of the clinicians will receive a $12,000 cash prize through a $600,000 endowment made by Gary Stein, the Stein family and Regina Rogers. Stein and Rogers are members of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. The awards fund smaller but promising research projects that have limited financial support.
Contreras’ research focuses on identifying genetic alterations believed to contribute to the development of more aggressive forms of breast cancer. Wu’s research focuses on identifying molecular biomarkers for breast cancer prognosis and targeted therapy.