SAN ANTONIO — The 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium will honor two leading breast cancer researchers during its 35th annual symposium, which will be held here Dec. 4-8 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.
Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., will receive the 2012 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, and Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., will present the 2012 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research.
Hosted by the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the AACR and Baylor College of Medicine, the symposium is a four-day program that presents a balance of clinical, translational and basic research focused on breast cancer. It provides a forum for interaction, communication and education for a broad spectrum of researchers, health care professionals and those with a special interest in breast cancer.
Polyak will deliver her award lecture, “Breast Tumor Evolution: Drivers and Clinical Relevance,” on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Exhibit Hall D of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Polyak is a professor of medicine in the department of medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. Her laboratory investigates the molecular basis of breast tumor evolution, with special emphasis on the role of the microenvironment and intratumor diversity in these processes. Her work focuses on identifying molecular alterations between normal and cancerous breast tissue using various technologies, determining their consequences and utilizing them to improve the clinical management of patients with breast cancer.
Funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, this award recognizes an investigator younger than 50 whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.
Bissell will deliver her award lecture, titled “Genes and the Microenvironment: The Two Faces of Breast Cancer,” on Friday, Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Exhibit Hall D of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.
Bissell is a distinguished scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. Her innovative breast cancer research has had a profound influence on the understanding of cancer biology, in particular how three-dimensional organ architecture is responsible for normal behavior and how the loss of this crucial information influences the genesis of tumors. Her work demonstrated the pivotal role of reciprocal signaling between the nucleus and the extracellular matrix that surrounds tissues. She argued that it is the imbalance of this dynamic exchange of information that causes cancer. The research generated by Bissell and her team indicates that it is not only the genetic mutations that drive cancer, but also disruption of microenvironmental control.
Supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, this lectureship was established in 2008 and is given annually to an individual who has undertaken outstanding scientific research that has inspired or has the potential to inspire new perspectives on the etiology, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.