William Kaelin, professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has been named one of seven recipients of the 2010 Canada Gairdner Award. The award, which was created in 1959 to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life, is among the most prestigious awards in biomedical science.
Kaelin’s research seeks to identify the molecular mechanisms that allow cells to detect a shortage of oxygen and respond by making new red blood cells and blood vessels. His work may pave the way for therapies that manipulate oxygen to treat diseases ranging from heart disease and anemia to cancer.
“Bill has made groundbreaking discoveries that have transformed our understanding of many forms of cancer,” said Edward J. Benz Jr., the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine, professor of Pediatrics, and professor of pathology at Dana-Farber. “His work has also pointed the way to new strategies to find better therapies for these tumors. He is very deserving of this recognition and has also brought honor to the Dana-Farber.”