Skip to Content
Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Director Receives Two Prestigious Awards

March 2011 - Linkage Newsletter

In November 2010, Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., DCEG Division Director, received two major awards for his work in cancer research.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded Dr. Fraumeni the Medal of Honor for Cancer Control at a ceremony held during its annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The Medal of Honor is the society's highest honor; two other scientists were similarly honored during the meeting for their contributions to basic and clinical research, respectively. The three recipients were chosen by the ACS National Awards Committee.

The American-Italian Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports cancer research, education, and control, awarded Dr. Fraumeni the Alexander Bodini Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine. The prize is awarded annually to two scientists in recognition of important discoveries in cancer biology, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. The day after the award ceremony, Dr. Fraumeni gave an award lecture on "Genes and the environment in cancer causation" at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Dr. Fraumeni at American Cancer Society Award ceremonyBoth awards emphasized Dr. Fraumeni's epidemiologic and interdisciplinary research into the causes of cancer. These include his work in genetics that led to the discovery, with his colleague Dr. Frederick Li, who recently retired from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, of a familial multiple-cancer syndrome associated with inherited mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene, now known as Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Also recognized was Dr. Fraumeni's role in identifying environmental hazards through studies of high-risk populations pinpointed by the mapping of cancer mortality at the county level across the United States. Several findings from these studies have guided public health policies aimed at cancer prevention and control.