RPCI’s Dr. Alex Adjei Receives Drug Development Professorship from Conquer Cancer Foundation

Grant for $500,000 supports mentoring of junior colleagues
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Dr. Adjei is first recipient of new funded professorship
Grant supports mentoring in drug development, trial design, regulatory science
Dr. Adjei leading study to assess anticancer effects of agent called CBLB502

BUFFALO, NY — Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, FACP, Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park), has received the inaugural Drug Development Research Professorship Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The funded professorship will support Dr. Adjei’s efforts to mentor junior colleagues in the areas of drug development, clinical trial design and regulatory science. Dr. Adjei’s current research on the anticancer effects of CBLB502, a toll-like receptor 5 agonist, will be the primary vehicle for his mentoring activities.

“CBLB502 is an agent developed by my Roswell Park colleague Dr. Andrei Gudkov and his company Cleveland BioLabs Inc.,” said Dr. Adjei. “We’ve begun a phase I clinical research study to assess its effectiveness in preventing and controlling growth of cancer cells, looking at all solid tumors. In their preclinical studies, Dr. Gudkov and his team made key findings about the structure of the target receptor, and now we’re applying the insights from those studies in the clinical setting.”

The Drug Development Research Professorship (DDRP) is designed to provide flexible funding to outstanding researchers who have made, and are continuing to make, significant contributions that have changed the direction of cancer research. The award supports researchers in exploring new and promising therapeutic compounds that will lead to improved treatments and mentoring young researchers in the scientific and regulatory aspects of drug development. The $500,000 award is supported by Sanofi Oncology.

“Many physicians become better clinicians because of their research or better researchers because of their clinical practice, but few incorporate these separate functions as fully and effectively as Alex,” said Roswell Park President & CEO Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP. “He deeply understands the realities of the drug-development arena — the possibilities and the limitations — and for all these reasons is uniquely qualified to mentor young researchers."

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation is dedicated to advancing care of cancer patients by supporting vital cancer research and investigator career development,” said Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Research conducted by this year’s honorees will improve the lives of cancer patients as it draws us closer to creating a world free from the fear of cancer.”

In all, more than 200 cancer researchers will collectively receive more than $5 million in Conquer Cancer Foundation grants at ASCO’s 48th Annual Meeting, to be held June 1–5 in Chicago. For more information about him and the other award recipients, go to www.conquercancerfoundation.org.

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org