Molecular Virology & Microbiology

2002 Recipient

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Lawrence A. Donehower, Ph.D.

Cancer resistance and accelerated aging in p53 mutant mice

Lawrence A. Donehower, Ph.D., received the award for his research on the function of a gene, p53, that is critical for protecting humans from early cancers. Dr. Donehower generated mice with an altered p53 tumor suppressor gene that confers cancer resistance and accelerated aging. This p53 mutant mouse suggests that not only is the p53 gene important in preventing cancers, but that it may also play a major role in influencing the aging process. Thus, cancer protection can be augmented but perhaps at the risk of accelerating various aspects of aging. Dr. Donehower is now studying these p53 mutant mice to better understand the molecular, cellular, and hormonal bases of normal aging processes.

Dr. Donehower’s nomination was based on the following publication:

Tyner SD, Venkatachalam S, Choi J, Jones S, Ghebranious N, Igelmann H, Lu X, Soron G, Cooper B, Brayton C, Hee Park S, Thompson T, Karsenty G, Bradley A, Donehower LA. p53 mutant mice that display early ageing-associated phenotypes. Nature. 2002 Jan 3; 415(6867):45-53.