2011 Translational Research Professorship Recipient Investigates Personalized Care, Genomic Testing
In 2011 the Conquer Cancer Foundation awarded the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Translational Research Professorship, In Memory of Merrill J. Egorin, MD, to Mark J. Ratain, MD, of the University of Chicago, to support research related to the creation of a genomic prescribing system.
The Translational Research Professorship (TRP) provides funding to outstanding translational researchers who have made, and are continuing to make, significant contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research and who provide mentorship to future translational researchers.
Dr. Ratain, through his Foundation-supported project, is working to improve and individualize prescribing by preemptively evaluating patients’ individual genetic variations. He hopes to see genotyping routinely integrated into medical care.
In an interview with ASCO Daily News, he noted that the research is going “spectacularly well,” and emphasized the importance of institutional and international collaboration in moving the field of pharmacogenomics forward.
A crucial aspect of the Translational Research Professorship is mentoring. Dr. Ratain serves as a mentor to three early-career investigators pursuing research related to the genomic prescribing system: Peter H. O’Donnell, MD, Michael Maitland, MD, PhD and R. Stephanie Huang, PhD. Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Maitland are past recipients of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO’s Young Investigator Award, receiving their grants in 2009 and 2006, respectively. All three of Dr. Ratain’s mentees are experiencing continued success in their research.
The 2011 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Translational Research Professorship was given in memory of Merrill J. Egorin, MD, who passed away at age 62 of multiple myeloma and was the 2009 recipient of the grant. He was an internationally known researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute who was passionate about mentoring and teaching, so much so that he used his own cancer experience as a teaching tool with his students.
“This recognition is particularly meaningful to me, as the previous recipient was my mentor, collaborator, and good friend, the late Merrill Egorin, a pioneer in the clinical pharmacology of anticancer agents. I hope to continue his great legacy,” Dr. Ratain said in a 2011 interview when he received the grant.
The 2011 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Translational Research Professorship, In Memory of Merrill J. Egorin, MD, is generously supported by Genentech BioOncology™.