Press Release

20 Jun 2013

Nationally recognized cancer researcher to share treatment, therapy updates in free presentation at Van Andel Institute

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Grand Rapids, Mich. (Jun. 20, 2013) – Van Andel Institute (VAI) welcomes nationally renowned researcher and Director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Cancer Center, Frank McCormick, Ph.D., FRS, to speak at the annual Han-Mo Koo Memorial Lecture Series about the latest advancements in cancer treatments.

Dr. McCormick will lead a lay lecture on the newest ways of treating cancer on Thursday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m. at VAI, which will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 4 p.m. Dr. McCormick will also deliver a lecture to the scientific community entitled “Cancer Therapy Based on the RAS Pathway” on Friday, June 28 at noon. Registration for these free events is available at www.vai.org.

Dr. McCormick has an impressive background of prominent cancer research positions, including Director of Molecular Biology and Vice President of Research at Cetus Corporation, and Vice President of Research at Chiron Corporation. He is also the founder of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to developing new cancer therapies, where he initiated and directed drug discovery efforts that led to the approval of treatments for renal cell cancer, liver cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer. In addition, Dr. McCormick is the 2012-2013 President of the American Association for Cancer Research, has authored 285 scientific publications, and holds 20 issued patents.

“Dr. McCormick is one of the most highly respected and accomplished scientists of our time,” said George Vande Woude, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at VAI. “He has pioneered the unraveling of many complex pathways that lead to and cause cancer. He was early to recognize the importance of pathways as targets for drug inhibitors and started the pharmaceutical company Onyx, which successfully developed Serafanib, used to treat many types of cancer.”

The Han-Mo Koo Memorial Lecture Series is an annual event established to honor the memory and scientific contributions of Dr. Han-Mo Koo, who joined VAI in 1999 as one of its founding investigators and Head of the Laboratory of Cancer Pharmacogenetics, establishing important projects focused on anti-cancer drug development for melanoma and pancreatic cancer. His work contributed greatly to the Institute’s mission to improve health and enhance lives. He passed away in May 2004 following a six-month battle with cancer.

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About Van Andel Institute

Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process.  Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research arm, is dedicated to studying the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of more than 200 researchers in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Find out more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting www.vai.org