Schreiber Receives Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology

Gila Z. Reckess

St. Louis, June 26, 2001 -- Robert D. Schreiber, Ph.D., the Alumni Professor of Pathology and Immunology and professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the 2001 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute. The award was presented on June 14, 2001, at the Institute's 15th Annual Awards Dinner held in New York City.

The Cancer Research Institute was founded in 1953 by Helen Coley Nauts to foster the field of cancer immunology. The Coley Award was established in 1975 in honor of Nauts' father, William B. Coley, M.D., a prominent surgeon who helped begin the search for immunotherapy cancer treatment options more than a century ago. It is the Institute's most prestigious award.

Schreiber was recognized for his work on the role of the immune system in tumor formation.

"Dr. Schreiber's research has given rebirth and substantiation to the theory of cancer immunosurveillance," says Lloyd J. Old, M.D., director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and of the Cancer Research Institute's Scientific Advisory Council. "His findings provide a firm foundation for all aspirations of tumor immunology."

Schreiber is known in part for his research on gamma interferon (IFNg ), a protein produced in the immune system. In recent publications, his team reported the first conclusive evidence that IFNg and immune cells called lymphocytes help prevent the spread of dangerous tumor cells. These results shed light on a longstanding controversy and could lead to new treatment options for cancer.

"I am tremendously honored to have been selected to receive this prestigious award," says Schreiber. "Our work would not have been possible without the support of the Cancer Research Institute and the immunology community here at the School of Medicine. Our success highlights the major positive influence the Institute is having on basic tumor immunology and the development of novel cancer immunotherapies, and also represents a strong statement about the remarkably interactive research environment that we have at this medical school."

Schreiber was born in Rochester, New York, and obtained both his bachelor's degree in 1968 and his doctorate degree in 1973 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in Buffalo, he went to the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. where he remained on faculty until he joined the Washington University faculty in 1985.

Schreiber has received several other awards and honors including the Bonazinga Award (1998) and the Milstein Award from the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research (1996). He also became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996.


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