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UPMC Media Relations

University Of Pittsburgh Scientists Win Prestigious Award For Outstanding Contribution To Cancer Research

PITTSBURGH, June 9, 2003 Yuan Chang, M.D., and Patrick S. Moore, M.D., M.P.H. have been awarded the Charles S. Mott Prize, bestowed annually by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (GMCRF), for the most recent outstanding contribution to the cause or prevention of cancer.

The husband-and-wife team is from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where Dr. Chang is professor of pathology and Dr. Moore is professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry and director of the Molecular Virology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).

Drs. Chang and Moore will be presented with the $250,000 Mott Prize at a ceremony that concludes GMCRFs Annual Scientific Conference, June 10-11, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

This award is one of the top annual awards in cancer research internationally as well as one of the most prestigious prizes ever awarded to a University of Pittsburgh faculty member, said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In fact, the honor has been bestowed on only a select number of the worlds top scientists, nine of whom have gone on to win Nobel prizes.

Drs. Chang and Moore were honored with the Mott Prize for their discovery of Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which causes Kaposis sarcoma the most common malignancy occurring in AIDS patients. KSHV also is linked to other disorders that involve a compromised immune system.

Few scientists can lay claim to have truly found the cause of a cancer, said Ronald Herberman, M.D., director of UPCI and the UPMC Cancer Centers. Drs. Chang and Moore not only found the long-sought cause for a very common cancer in AIDS patients, but they also used their discovery to open new and exciting areas in cancer research. They are continuing to use innovative molecular biology techniques to understand the basis for KSHVs ability to cause cancer and to unearth new pathogens and undiscovered viruses.

Samuel A. Wells, Jr., M.D., president of the GMCRF, called Drs. Chang and Moore exemplary scientists and worthy recipients of the Mott Prize. They were chosen through a rigorous process conducted by a panel of prestigious international scientists, he said. Through this award, General Motors supports some of the worlds most gifted scientists who have made highly important discoveries leading to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer.

General Motors established the Cancer Research Foundation in 1978 to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of basic scientists and clinical scientists in cancer research around the world. The Mott Prize, among the most prestigious in the field of medicine, is one of three awards GM announces annually.

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania, serving a population of more than six million. UPCI is a recognized leader in providing innovative cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment; bio-medical research; compassionate patient care and support; and community outreach services. UPCI investigators are world-renowned for their work in clinical and basic research on cancer.

To read more news releases about cancer, please visit the Media Relations Cancer Archives.

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