Director Receives Sheen Award

Jan. 26, 2007 – Timothy Eberlein, MD, director of the Siteman Cancer Center and chairman of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, was awarded the 2006 Sheen Award by the American College of Surgeons.

The award honors physicians who have made outstanding contributions to mankind through the fields of medicine and medical research. It was established in 1938 by Thomas Sheen, a well-known tailor, clothier and real estate professional, to honor his brother, Rodman Sheen, a pioneer in the medical use of Roentgen rays.

Previous recipients of the Sheen Award include surgeons such as Thomas Starzl, MD, PhD, and Judah Folkman, MD, as well as nonsurgeons such as Mary-Claire King, PhD, and Francis Collins, MD, PhD.

Eberlein became chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1998 and director of the cancer center in 1999. He was named Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor in 2000.

Widely published, Eberlein is well-known for his clinical expertise in the management of breast cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies and soft-tissue sarcoma. In 2004, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors medical scientists in the United States can receive. He currently serves as editor in chief of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

In the research arena, Eberlein has focused on tumor immunology and immune therapy as well as the identification of co-stimulatory molecules and pathways in solid tumors. Recently, he and his colleagues developed a vaccine that has advanced therapy for women diagnosed with breast cancer. The vaccine targets the immune system and identifies and helps attack the protein HER2/neu, which exacerbates the growth of breast cancer cells and makes the disease difficult to control.