25th Biennial Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research

Mike Price Gold Medal Award

Karen Vousden announced as 2018 winner of prestigious Mike Price Gold Medal Award

Karen Vousden has been announced as the winner of the European Association for Cancer Research’s Mike Price Gold Medal Award, a biennial award recognising a senior researcher who has made exceptional contributions to the progress of cancer research in Europe.

The 2018 award will be presented at the 25th Biennial Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR25) in Amsterdam in July 2018, where Professor Vousden will present the Keynote closing lecture of the Congress. The meeting will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the association, which was founded in 1968 to bring together cancer researchers from across Europe and help them to advance their research.

The Mike Price Gold Medal Award was created in 2012 in memory of Dr. Mike Price, Secretary General of the EACR for 21 years, who died of cancer in 2000. 

Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of research and innovation, said: “We’re delighted that Professor Vousden’s world-leading research has been recognised by this year’s EACR Mike Price Gold Medal award. Cancer is a complex disease but thanks to research our understanding of the biology of the disease has improved tremendously. Her work has been at the forefront of this, revealing more about the tumour suppressor gene p53 and how it is controlled which is now being developed into new cancer treatments.

“As Cancer Research UK’s chief scientist she is helping to support the next generation of scientists and clinical researchers to make the breakthroughs that could help more people survive cancer.”

About the Winner

Professor Vousden received her BSc and Ph.D. in Genetics from Queen Mary College at the University of London working with Lorna Casselton, followed by postdoctoral fellowships with Chris Marshall at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Douglas Lowy at the National Cancer Institute in the USA. She then became head of the Human Papillomavirus group the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London before moving back to the NCI in 1995, where she was Director of the Molecular Virology and Carcinogenesis Section at the ABL-Basic Research programme and then Chief of the Regulation of Cell Growth Laboratory. In 2002 she returned to the UK to become the Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, moving back to London in 2016 to take up the role of Chief Scientist at CRUK and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.

Professor Vousden’s research focuses on the tumour suppressor protein p53, which plays an important role in cancer prevention. Her lab is interested in understanding the signals that induce p53 and the functions of p53 that contribute to its ability to prevent cancer progression.  This work has also expanded to encompass an interest in cancer metabolism. Ultimately, the hope is to be able find ways to translate this research for cancer therapy.

Previous recipients of the Award:

2016: Professor Sir Michael Stratton

2014: Professor Harald zur Hausen

2012: Dr. José Baselga

Above: 2018 winner Karen Vousden

Who was Mike Price?

The Mike Price Gold Medal Award commemorates the life and work of perhaps the most significant figure in the EACR’s history. Mike Price served as Secretary General of the EACR for 21 years. He died in 2000 after fighting bravely for just over a year against an unusual form of cancer. Edith Olah, EACR President at the time, wrote that his death brought immense sadness to all the many members of the EACR who knew and loved him.

Mike Price was an excellent educator and countless students benefitted from his enthusiasm and understanding. Among many initiatives, he was instrumental in setting up the EACR Travel Fellowship programme which continues to give young scientists the opportunity to visit and train in centres of excellence throughout Europe and beyond. 

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