The Awards and Honors Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Alexander Hollaender Award and the 2020 EMGS Award. Both awards will be presented during the 51st Annual Meeting of the EMGS, which will be held September 12-16, 2020 at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel in Palm Springs, CA.
Paul A. White, Ph.D., Group Leader of Genetic Toxicology at Health Canada is the recipient of the 2020 Alexander Hollaender Award. The Alexander Hollaender Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of the principles and techniques of environmental mutagenesis to the protection of human health.
To quote the nominators: Dr. White “exhibits the highest levels of scholarship” and “has been a driving force promoting the major paradigm change ongoing within applied genetic toxicology today”. Nominators universally praised his many contributions and leadership roles in international consortia aimed at developing and refining testing strategies for the protection of human health. It is evident to much of the scientific community that the field of risk assessment would not be where it is today without his efforts at promoting quantitative analyses of mutagenicity.
Curtis Harris, MD, head of the Molecular Genetics and Carcinogenesis Section and chief of the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at the Center for Cancer Research of the National Cancer Institute, is the recipient of the 2020 EMGS Award. The EMGS award recognizes outstanding research contributions in the areas of environmental mutagenesis and genomics. Dr. Harris’ selection as the 2020 EMGS Award winner recognizes his significant body of work on the molecular epidemiology of human cancers.
Dr. Harris’ discovery that the environmental carcinogen aflatoxin B causes a specific mutation in the TP53 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma was a landmark in the field of environmental mutagenesis, and opened to door to many additional studies that have linked specific environmental exposures with cancers in human populations.
This work and his subsequent analyses of TP53 mutation and function in cancer have been ground-breaking in both the molecular population sciences and in the field of cancer biology. Furthermore, his work on miRNAs, DNA methylation, and inflammatory proteins in cancer has helped to identify novel mechanistic biomarkers of cancer risk, diagnosis, and therapeutic outcome and has changed the way we understand the process of carcinogenesis.
Congratulations to both Dr. White and Dr. Harris on their well-deserved honors!