Contributions to Cancer Research
|1939||Harold P. Rusch showed that a high-fat or high-calorie
diet accelerated the production of cancer in mice.
McArdle Laboratory was established as the first basic cancer research facility in an academic institution in the United States.
Harold P. Rusch found the wavelength of ultraviolet
light that produces skin cancer.
|1950s - 1970s||
Elizabeth C. and James A. Miller's discovery that most
carcinogens must first be converted to "active" forms
is the single most far-reaching explanation for how
diverse chemicals cause cancer. This knowledge is
fundamental to our understanding of how the common
cigarette or the rare fungal toxin causes cancer.
Van R. Potter's theory of "enzyme inhibition and
sequential blocking" led to the use of multi-drug
therapy for cancer patients.
Fluorouracil was first synthesized by Charles
Heidelberger and developed by Hoffmann LaRoche; this
drug has been used extensively to treat breast,
ovarian, stomach, and colon cancers.
|1960s - 1970s||Roswell K.
Boutwell illuminated the role of high-fat diets in
the development of cancer, especially breast cancer.
Boutwell was the first to propose that vitamin A plays
a role in preventing cancer; clinical trials have now
shown that high doses of a vitamin A derivative prevent
lung, throat, and mouth cancer.
Henry Pitot’s early studies at the McArdle Laboratory demonstrated that the environmental regulation of gene expression in primary and transplanted hepatocellular carcinomas was defective and significantly different from that in normal liver. Pitot also served as the Director of the McArdle Laboratory from 1973 until 1991.
Howard M. Temin discovered reverse transcriptase
(independently discovered by David Baltimore at MIT).
The discovery of this enzyme helped to explain how
retroviruses cause cancer and AIDS.
|1970s - 1990s||Alan Poland's identification and characterization of
the TCDD receptor has revealed how a large class of
environmental contaminants contribute to cancer.
F. Michael Hoffmann and his colleagues, by using the power of fruit fly genetics, identified two novel pathways that interact with the Abl gene, a common target in leukemia.
Jeffrey Ross isolated and characterized the first enzyme that regulates the stability of messenger RNA.
Richard Burgess discovered a new class of monoclonal antibodies, called polyol-responsive, that are ideal for rapid, gentle purification of unstable cellular proteins.
Norman Drinkwater and his students identified three genes that determine the risk of inbred mice for developing liver cancer. These genes may serve as models for inherited factors that influence human cancer risk. Drinkwater also served as the Director of the McArdle Laboratory from 1992 until 2008.
and coworkers discovered the mechanism by which the
cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus grows in infected
William F. Dove
Amy Moser isolated the mutant Min mouse, the first
animal model for familial colon cancer; this has
provided a tractable route for the study of this common
|1940s - 2000s||
McArdle faculty have trained over 1300 pre- and
postdoctoral students in basic cancer research, many of
whom are leaders in the field today.
|2000s - today||Paul Ahlquist and his colleagues discovered that three broad classes of viruses - including those that harbor the agents that cause such diverse ailments as AIDS, the common cold and cancer-causing hepatitis C - share functional traits that suggest they all evolved from a common ancestor. A better understanding of such commonalities may lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents.
Paul Lambert discovered that estrogen contributes to not only the establishment but also the persistence and malignant progression of cervical cancers in a mouse model for human cervical cancer. This discovery has potential implications in the clinical management of cervical disease.
Michael Gould developed the means to generate rats null for desired genes allowing the detailed study of the contributions of BRCA1, BRCA2, and APC genes to the development of breast and colon cancers in this model organism. Rats null for APC, a model to study colon cancer, were generated by William Dove in collaboration with Michael Gould.
McArdle faculty have received numerous national and international prizes and awards in recognition of their scientific achievements. The McArdle faculty also have been instrumental in affecting cancer policy in this country beginning with Dr. Rusch's activities in the 1940s. A well-known leader in cancer research, Dr. Rusch served as a member of the Yarborough Committee that drafted the National Cancer Act of 1971. McArdle faculty have continued to play a significant role in NCI and American Cancer Society (ACS) review panels and study sections, committees, and in scientific advisory boards. Faculty also are active in many professional activities, serving as members of numerous editorial boards and professional organizations. A few of their activities are listed below.
- Recipients of numerous national and international awards and prizes for outstanding scientific contributions, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the National Medal of Science, five recipients of the Clowes Award and Lectureship for the American Association for Cancer Research, four recipients of the CIIT Founders' Award, two winners of the General Motors Cancer Research Award, three recipients of the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Research, three recipients of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, six recipients of the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, and two recipients of the Burroughs Wellcome Scholar Award in Toxicology
- Six members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences
- Four past presidents of the American Association for Cancer Research
- Four past members of the distinguished National Cancer Advisory Board
- Members of NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors and numerous NIH and ACS study sections
- Two past members of the President's Cancer Panel
- Eight past members of the AACR Board of Directors
- Five members of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors
- Two Editors-in-Chief of Cancer Research, editors of several scientific journals, and members of numerous editorial boards
- Recipients of numerous honorary degrees