June 11, 2019
V. Craig Jordan honored by Queen Elizabeth II for impact on women’s health
BY Scott Merville
V. Craig Jordan, Ph.D., professor of Breast Medical Oncology, has been recognized for his “services to women’s health” with his appointment by Queen Elizabeth II as a Companion (CMG) of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, announced June 7 as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list tradition in the United Kingdom.
It’s the latest honor for Jordan’s discovery and development of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS), a class of drugs that includes the mainstay breast cancer hormonal treatment and preventive drug tamoxifen, and raloxifene, which prevents both osteoporosis and breast cancer.
“We are delighted to see Dr. Jordan’s high-impact research achievements, which have saved and improved the lives of so many women worldwide, earn such prestigious recognition,” said MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters, M.D.
The CMG recognizes extraordinary leadership and exceptional accomplishment in the diplomatic service, security services or overseas service by British citizens in foreign countries. Designation as CMG advances Jordan from the Order of the British Empire (OBE), which is 9th in priority of the active orders of chivalry, to CMG, which is 7th in priority. Born in New Braunfels, Texas, but raised in the United Kingdom, Jordan is a dual citizen of both countries.
“Never in a million years would I have imagined appointment as a CMG,” says Jordan. “These are the defenders of the U.K. and ambassadors. However, there is a third, very small, category: individuals of British Citizenship that excel and are first in an accomplishment in a foreign country. I am honored that Her Majesty has made such an appointment recognizing my work on improving women’s health around the world,” said Jordan, who holds MD Anderson’s Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Chair of Cancer Research.
Jordan’s research accomplishments include:
- Finding that tamoxifen should be used only for patients with estrogen-receptor positive breast tumors.
- Treating with tamoxifen after mastectomy or lumpectomy to prevent recurrence.
- Providing the first laboratory evidence that tamoxifen could be used to prevent breast cancer.
All five SERMS approved by the Food and Drug Administration (tamoxifen, toremifene, bazedoxifene, raloxifene, ospemifene) for a variety of indications are connected to Jordan’s research.
Jordan’s research began in 1972 at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Massachusetts and continued through his subsequent tenure at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School and Georgetown University. He was recruited to MD Anderson in 2014.
Jordan is a member of both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine. Among his previous honors are the 2017 U.S. Endocrine Society Laureate of the Gerald Aurbach Prize in translational research, designation by the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics as one of the “Big Four of the Millennium” who established current standards of women’s health care, and the Sir James Black Award for contributions to drug discovery from the British Pharmacological Society. In 2015, the American Society of Clinical Oncology identified Jordan as one of 50 individuals who had changed cancer care in the previous 50 years.