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Jill Marie Siegfried, Ph.D.

Pitt Cancer Researcher Wins 2000 Alton Ochsner Award

PITTSBURGH, October 20, 2000 — Jill Marie Siegfried, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman of the department of pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-director of the lung cancer program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, has been selected to receive the 15th Annual Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health.

The award will be presented to Dr. Siegfried at the annual convention of the American College of Chest Physicians on Oct. 22 in San Francisco.

Over the past 18 years, Dr. Siegfried has studied the cellular and molecular aspects of lung cancer and developed methods to study the biological changes that occur in human lung tumors. She initially demonstrated that within laboratory-cultured human lung tissue, specific changes take place in response to carcinogens, biologically active hormones, growth factors and smoking. These changes are similar to those seen in cells from human lung tumors.

More recently, she and her colleagues discovered that women may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of tobacco exposure due to the more frequent expression in women of a specific gene on the X-chromosome – since women have two X chromosomes and men have only one. These findings are of particular relevance since women are currently the fastest growing group of smokers. Dr. Siegfried’s findings serve as a warning to these newer smokers that they are at even greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Ranked 12th in NCI funding and the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in western Pennsylvania, UPCI is widely recognized as a leader in translating laboratory findings into applications of potential clinical importance and for its commitment to developing new and effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

For more information about UPCI, please access or call the UPCI’s Cancer Information and Referral Service toll-free at 1-800-237-4724.

Researchers in the Depression Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic are conducting a series of studies to examine various factors that may increase the risk for developing bipolar disorder early in life.

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