Tenth Annual Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research


The Tenth Annual Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research will be given this year to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Distinguished Scientist Mina Bissell. Dr. Bissell’s seminal work revealed the critical importance of the cell microenvironment for normal cell function, and that multi-cellular interactions and extracellular signaling are integral rather than secondary factors in determining the development of cancer. Extensions of her research, funded by DOE’s Low Dose Radiation Research Program, are showing parallel applicability in the field of radiation carcinogenesis. In the early years of research in tissue culture, it was assumed that cells growing sheets of one-cell thickness provided an adequate model for the body’s tissue/organ functions. Bissell’s work in this arena, begun in the 1980s, showed that monolayer cultures do not adequately model normal tissues. Using mouse breast cells in culture as the experimental model, she showed that 3-dimensional cellular aggregates much more closely mimic organ function and regulation. Dr. Bissell’s pivotal contributions have been internationally recognized. The 2007 Pezcoller Award is her most recent and prestigious honor. Dr. Bissell will present the Award Lecture at the American Association for Cancer Research 98th Annual Meeting, April 14-18, 2007, in Los Angeles, entitled Phenotype overrides genotype in normal mammary gland and breast cancer. She will then present the Second Annual Stanley J. Korsmeyer Lecture in Padua, Italy, just prior to the official Award ceremony in Trento, Italy, in early May 2007.