M. D. Anderson President Honoured -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

The Dan David Foundation, based at Tel Aviv University, annually awards three prizes of $1 million each to laureates selected in fields chosen within the three time dimensions of Past, Present, and Future.

Mendelsohn joins Joseph Schlessinger, Ph.D., chairman of pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine, as co-winner in the "Future Time Dimension" category, designed this year to recognize innovation in cancer research that will impact future treatment of the disease. The two researchers will share a $1 million prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University on May 21.

"It is a tremendous honour to be awarded the Dan David Prize," Mendelsohn says. "It's especially gratifying to be honoured for research that has played a role in the future care of patients with cancer. I am pleased to share this award with Dr. Schlessinger whom I have known for many years as a pioneer in the field of growth factor signalling. We have published one research article together."

The 2006 "Future Time Dimension" award is focused on the field of cancer therapy, and Mendelsohn was awarded the prize for "pioneering the rapidly developing field of antibody-mediated cancer therapy in general and that of antibodies to growth factors in particular," according to the Foundation.

For more than two decades, Mendelsohn has carried out research on how growth factors regulate the proliferation of cancer cells. He created a monoclonal antibody that blocked the capacity of the epidermal growth factor to activate a specific receptor on cancer cells, resulting in inhibition of cell proliferation. The antibody acts by binding to the receptor, and was the first example of an anticancer agent which inhibits critical biochemical signalling pathways in cells and in human cancers growing in mice.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center