We often talk about Mayo Clinic researchers being at the top of their respective fields. Here’s proof: Two Mayo cancer researchers honored at the same time for work on different types of the disease.
Fergus Couch, Ph.D. has been named Outstanding Investigator of the Year in Breast Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, M.D. has received the Stratton Medal for his work on myeloproliferative neoplasms by the American Society of Hematology.
The award Dr. Couch received was established to recognize investigators whose “novel and significant work has had a far reaching impact.” In his case, that refers to epidemiological and molecular research on mutations that predispose people to breast cancer. He has led genome-wide association studies to identify common genetic variants among carriers of germ line BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. Dr. Couch’s work on determining the clinical relevance of these “variants of uncertain significance” (VUS) had been influential. Dr. Couch is the Zbigniew and Anna M. Scheller Professor of Medical Research and chair of the Division of Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
Dr. Tefferi was honored for his seminal contributions in the area of translational hematology by defining the pathogenesis and prognostic features of myeloid malignancies. This work has led him to serve on the World Health Organization Classification Committee in efforts to revise the diagnostic criteria for these diseases. Specifically, his search for a common molecular pathogenetic contributor for these diseases involving abnormal growth of blood cells in the bone marrow has been significant. He has published over 580 peer-reviewed articles and has been acclaimed as a teacher and mentor by his medical students and research fellows in the fields of hematology and hemostasis.
The American Association for Cancer Research is the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focused on high-quality, innovative cancer research. It publishes a range of scientific journals, most notably Cancer Research. The American Society of Hematology has more than 16,000 members and serves both clinicians and scientists around the world who are working to conquer blood diseases. It publishes the journal Blood, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field.