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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Joseph Fraumeni Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Duke Medical Alumni Association

Joseph Fraumeni

Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., former Director of DCEG, has been chosen to receive the William G. Anlyan, M.D., Lifetime Achievement Award from the Duke Medical Alumni Association.  In announcing the award, Dr. Nancy C. Andrews, Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, cited Dr. Fraumeni’s “numerous and far-reaching contributions …to epidemiology and environmental health during his career at the National Cancer Institute.” Examples of his contributions include:

  • Discovery in 1969, with Dr. Frederick P. Li, of a hereditary, multicancer syndrome affecting children and young adults in families, which came to be called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. This research eventually led to collaborative molecular studies that uncovered inherited mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene.
  • The creation of computer-generated maps showing geographic variation in cancer mortality at the county level. These “cancer maps” enabled Dr. Fraumeni and his colleagues to recognize distinctive patterns of certain malignancies and identify several environmental, occupational, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer.
  • His emphasis on collaborative research incorporating new and emerging molecular technologies into population- and family-based studies. This approach, now called molecular epidemiology, is helping to dissect the genetic and environmental components of cancer, along with their combined effects on the origins and progression of cancer.

The award was announced at a special awards dinner in October as part of the 2014 Medical Alumni Weekend activities.

The William G. Anlyan, M.D., Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. The award recognizes School of Medicine and/or house staff alumni, or School of Medicine faculty for extraordinary leadership and accomplishment in the field of medicine at the national level. It is the highest honor the Alumni Association bestows.