Campus & Community

HMS, Dana-Farber scientists receive 2012 Alpert Prize

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Researchers honored for developing pioneering cancer drug

The 2012 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize will be awarded to four scientists instrumental in developing the drug bortezomib, which has radically altered the therapeutic landscape for individuals with multiple myeloma, a deadly blood cancer. This year’s recipients are Kenneth Anderson and Paul Richardson, both of Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Alfred Goldberg of Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Julian Adams of Infinity Pharmaceuticals. In the years since bortezomib was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, in 2003, more than 300,000 patients worldwide have been treated with this drug. Based on its success, four other proteasome inhibitors are now in clinical trials, and other drugs affecting this cellular system are being developed.

Now in its 25th year, the Alpert Prize recognizes researchers for laboratory discoveries with dramatic promise to improve human health. The recipients will share an unrestricted prize of $250,000 and be honored at a symposium at HMS on Sept. 24.

“The Alpert Prize was created to reward scientists whose queries into basic biological processes have resulted in new approaches to alleviating suffering caused by disease,” said Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Adams, Anderson, Goldberg, and Richardson’s discovery and development of bortezomib as a treatment for multiple myeloma beautifully matches and fulfills the mission of the prize of rewarding bench-to-bedside translational research.” Read more information.