New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
March 31, 2020
Damon Runyon Board Member Elaine V. Fuchs, PhD, Receives the 2020 Canada Gairdner Award


Damon Runyon Board Member Elaine V. Fuchs, PhD, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University, has received the 2020 Canada Gairdner Award in recognition of her pioneering work on tissue stem cells, the cells of our tissues that are responsible for repairing wounds.

Over the course of her career, Fuchs’ research has revealed the roles these stem cells play in wound healing, inflammation, and cancer growth. Her team has discovered that, as these long-lived stem cells accumulate mutations that lead to cancer, they begin producing an arsenal of molecular weapons that enables them to survive chemo and immunotherapy. “So much of cancer treatment in the future is going to be based on understanding the mechanisms of resistance,” Fuchs said. “That is why fundamental research is so important: it can answer those questions.”

“I’m truly grateful to my scientific colleagues for this wonderful honor. Let me take this opportunity to thank all my students and postdocs who I’ve trained over my career, and my staff who have supported them. This recognition is due to their genuine curiosity about tissue stem cells and their roles in wound repair, cancer and inflammatory disorders and their quest to find answers that will lead to new therapeutic avenues. They are and always will be the roots of my inspiration.”

Fuchs was a Damon Runyon Fellow, from 1977 to 1979, and credits her support from Damon Runyon for jump-starting her career. “Receiving a Damon Runyon Fellowship had a tremendous impact on my scientific career. I also have been fortunate to mentor new Damon Runyon scientists in my lab who have gone on to have exemplary independent careers. Damon Runyon builds generations of scientific leaders and mentors.”

Read More: The Rockfeller University