The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine announced today that the sixth Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine will be awarded to Tak W. Mak, PhD, Director of The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research and Senior Staff Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. The award is in recognition of his research into T cell activation, tumor suppressors, and the genetics of immunology, all with the goal of translating basic research discoveries into new treatments for cancer.
Dr. Mak’s research led to the critical discovery of a gene encoding a subunit of the T cell receptor, which led to the blockade method of immunotherapy that is now in early clinical use for the treatment of melanoma, lymphoma, and lung, bladder, kidney and head and neck cancers.
“The Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was established to recognize investigators who provided the crucial, early knowledge that has inspired further research that leads to therapy,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, editor emeritus of Molecular Medicine, and Cerami Award committee member. “Dr. Mak’s discovery of the T cell receptor and work with cancer and immunology genetics has revolutionized the treatment of cancer.”
The Cerami Award, which includes a $20,000 prize, is conferred semi-annually by the editors of Molecular Medicine, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Feinstein Institute. A monograph authored by Dr. Mak, entitled “A Journey in Science: Not Lost in Translation,” has been published on the Molecular Medicine website: www.molmed.org.
“It is an honor to be selected to receive the Anthony Cerami Award,” said Dr. Mak. “I truly believe that sharing data widely and building continuously on the work of all will eventually allow us to defeat disorders like autoimmunity and cancer. I’m happy to tell my story so that it can inspire young investigators in their research.”
The Feinstein Institute is committed to celebrating the stewardship of the scientific process and imparting that perspective to young scientists. It also recognizes that the story behind making a discovery in medicine or health care should be cherished and broadly shared. The goal of the Cerami Award and its associated monographs is to document the thinking leading to such innovations and discoveries so that these stories can endure and inspire future generations of investigators.
The Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine was made possible by the generosity of Dr. Cerami and the Ann Dunne Foundation for World Health. Dr. Cerami’s breakthrough translational work includes the identification of anti-TNF’s potential to treat a number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, and the development of the HbA1c Diagnostic Test, currently the gold standard for the diagnosis and control of diabetes. He is currently working on a potential treatment of diabetes as CEO of Araim Pharmaceuticals.
About Molecular Medicine
Molecular Medicine is an open access, international, peer-reviewed biomedical journal published by the Feinstein Institute Press. Molecular Medicine strives to understand normal body functioning and disease pathogenesis at the molecular level, which may allow researchers and physician-scientists to use that knowledge in the design of specific molecular tools for disease diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention. To learn more, visit molmed.org.
About The Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the 2,000 researchers and staff of the Feinstein are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.