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2007 Judson Daland Prize

2007 Autumn General Meeting

Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Investigation

Victor Velculescu

The 2007 recipient of the American Philosophical Society’s Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Patient-oriented Clinical Investigation is Victor Velculescu. The prize citation reads, “In recognition of his achievements in the identification of diagnostic and therapeutic targets through genomic analyses of human cancer.” Dr. Velculescu’s work is focused on genomic analyses of human cancer. He has pinpointed PIK3CA as one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancer and has obtained the first draft sequence of the breast and colorectal cancer genomes. These discoveries have identified a wealth of genes important in tumorigenesis and provide new opportunities for individualized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in human cancer.

Dr. Velculescu is an associate professor of oncology at the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center. He received his M.D. in medicine and his Ph.D. in human genetics and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins. Over the past decade he has developed several approaches to investigate genes important to neoplasia, and applied these approaches to systematic mutational analyses of cancer genomes. His genome-wide mutational analysis of breast and colorectal cancers suggested that the number of mutational events occurring during the evolution of human tumors is much larger and affects a wider variety of genes than previously imagined. Dr. Velculescu's studies have paved the way for similar genome-wide mutational analyses in other tumor types and provide a basis for personalized approaches to understanding and treating cancer.

The Daland Prize selection committee consisted of chairman Victor A. McKusick, University Professor of Medical Genetics, Johns Hopkins University; Clyde F. Barker, Donald Guthrie Professor, University of Pennsylvania; John N. Loeb, Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Columbia University; Arno G. Motulsky, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Genome Sciences, University of Washington; Thomas E. Starzl, Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Jean D. Wilson, Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.