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2 scientists share $500,000 prize for work on cancer biology

August 20, 2019
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In this undated photo provided by Stanford School of Medicine Dr. Irving Weissman poses for a photo. Weissman of Stanford University, is one of two recipients of the $500,000 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Weissman is renowned for his research on stem cells and its application to cancer therapy. (Steve Fisch/Stanford School of Medicine via AP)
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In this undated photo provided by Stanford School of Medicine Dr. Irving Weissman poses for a photo. Weissman of Stanford University, is one of two recipients of the $500,000 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Weissman is renowned for his research on stem cells and its application to cancer therapy. (Steve Fisch/Stanford School of Medicine via AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two scientists will share a $500,000 medical prize for work that has spurred advances in cancer research, immunology and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Irving Weissman, of Stanford University, and Dr. Bert Vogelstein, of Johns Hopkins University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will receive the 2019 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the medical center announced Tuesday. They’ll be awarded the prize on Sept. 25 in Albany, New York.

Vogelstein and Weissman have made major advancements in understanding what causes a tumor to grow and how it becomes malignant, said Dr. Vincent Verdile, dean of Albany Medical College.

“They have revolutionized our understanding of cancer biology and its application to earlier detection and treatment, leading to novel approaches capable of prolonging the lives of those who would at one time have been considered incurable,” Verdile said.

Weissman is renowned for his research on stem cells and its application to cancer therapy. His research has produced therapies that target cancer stem cells and has led to new treatments for breast cancer, leukemia, bladder cancer, malignant melanoma, sickle cell anemia and other diseases.

Vogelstein and his colleagues have been involved in research on cancer genes that has led to new cancer therapies and new tests for earlier detection and diagnosis of some forms of the disease.

The Albany Medical Center Prize has been given annually since 2001 to those who have altered the course of medical research. It was established by the late Morris “Marty” Silverman, a New York City businessman.

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