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Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine to be Awarded on June 8

Dr. Lewis C. Cantley will receive the Feinstein Institute’s 2015 Ross Prize for his critical discoveries regarding signaling pathways in cancer cells.

Published June 04, 2015

NEW YORK, June 4, 2015-On Monday, June 8, the New York Academy of Sciences will host the 2015 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine: Harnessing Cell Signaling Pathways to Treat Cancer. Pioneering cancer researcher Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, will be awarded with this year's prize for his critical discoveries regarding signaling pathways in cancer cells. The Ross Prize was established by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine. It recognizes biomedical scientists who have made a significant impact in the understanding of human disease pathogenesis and/or treatment and who hold significant promise for making even greater contributions to the general field of molecular medicine.

Dr. Cantley, Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor at Weill Cornell, discovered the phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K), which are critical for cell growth, proliferation, and survival. Following this discovery, he demonstrated that activity-enhancing mutations in PI3K were present in several types of human cancer, and he continued to investigate small molecule inhibitors of PI3K that are now approved for use in the treatment of cancer.

"It is a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award which recognizes the work that numerous outstanding graduate students and postdocs in my laboratory have conducted over the past 25 years," says Dr. Cantley.

After receiving the Ross Prize, Dr. Cantley will present a scientific talk on "Targeting Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase For Cancer Therapy," during which he will discuss both his successes and future research directions. "We have focused on understanding how signaling pathways transmit signals in a forward direction over many years, but have placed less emphasis on the complexity of negative feedback loops that turn these pathways off and on crosstalk between signaling pathways," says Dr. Cantley. "To fully understand the complexity of cancers, diabetes, neurological and immunological diseases, we will need to develop mechanisms to integrate all this information in a cohesive format."

Two of his colleagues, who Dr. Cantley calls "luminaries in the field of cancer genetics and therapeutics," will then discuss the future of cancer therapy. José Baselga, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will present a talk entitled "Bringing Cancer Precision Medicine Forward." Harold Varmus, MD, co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer and the Lewis Thomas University Professor at the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medical College, will present "Precision Medicine and Cancer Research."

Members of the media are invited to attend this event. For complimentary press passes, please contact Diana Friedman (; 212-298-8645).


About the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is comprised of international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, medicinal chemistry and bioelectronics medicine.  The Feinstein Institute, the research enterprise of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is home to 55 laboratories and publishes Molecular Medicine. For more information, visit or call 516.562.FIMR.

About Molecular Medicine

Molecular Medicine is an open-access, international, peer-reviewed, biomedical journal seeking insight into the cellular and molecular basis of disease.  The journal publishes work in the format of original research articles, editorials, commentaries and letters to the editor. The 2013 Journal Citation Report (JCR) lists Molecular Medicine with an impact factor of 4.824. For more information, visit

About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at

About the Meyer Cancer Center
The Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary translational research enterprise located at Weill Cornell Medical College, one of the top-ranked clinical and medical research centers in the country, in affiliation with NewYork-Presbyterian hospital. Its mission is to ensure that patients can have immediate access to emerging therapies in a supportive and caring environment, while training future researchers and fostering collaboration among leaders in cancer research and clinical care. Under the leadership of renowned cancer scientist Lewis Cantley, the Meyer Cancer Center engages more than 250 basic scientists, pathologists, bioinformaticians, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and other clinicians, who collaborate with colleagues at Cornell's Ithaca campus and other institutions to move their discoveries from lab bench to bedside, and back again. For more information, visit