Dean honored with national cancer leadership award

March 13, 2019
Dr. Raymond DuBois
Dr. Raymond DuBois. Photo by Brennan Wesley

The American Association for Cancer Research will recognize Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the MUSC College of Medicine, as the recipient of the 13th Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research at its 2019 annual meeting, March 29 to April 3, in Atlanta, Georgia.

DuBois, an internationally renowned expert in the molecular and genetic understanding of colorectal cancer, is a professor in the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The award recognizes his global leadership in the early detection, interception and prevention of colorectal cancer.

DuBois discovered the mechanistic function of prostaglandins (PGs) and cyclooxygenase in colon cancer initiation and progression and clarified the role of PGs in the tumor microenvironment, spearheading the consideration of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory mediators for cancer prevention.

“Dr. DuBois is a highly distinguished researcher whose innovative work, including the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory mediators for the prevention of colorectal cancer, has made him an international leader in the field of early detection and prevention of the disease,” said Margaret Foti, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of the AACR. “In addition to his groundbreaking research, Dr. DuBois’ exceptional leadership in the scientific community has garnered national and international acclaim. I am thrilled that he has been chosen by the selection committee to receive this award. We look forward with great excitement to honoring him with this award.” 

The AACR will present DuBois with this award during the opening ceremony on March 31. In addition, the award includes a cash prize, a portion of which DuBois plans to donate to the MUSC College of Medicine medical student scholarship fund.

“Many of the milestones I’ve achieved in my career were made possible by the support of other people,” DuBois said. “I think it’s only appropriate to use this award to help further the education of future physicians at MUSC.”

MUSC Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., explained the significance of the Margaret Foti Award. “This award recognizes some of the top researchers, physician scientists and advocates who have supported cancer research through their leadership, passionate advocacy and profound contributions,” said Saladin. “I join in the MUSC academic and research communities in congratulating Dr. DuBois on this prestigious honor.”

The Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research was established in 2007 to recognize a champion of cancer research whose leadership and extraordinary achievements in cancer research have had a major impact on the field.

DuBois’ work in this area has elucidated the role of anti-inflammatory agents in the tumor microenvironment, resulting in the establishment of various clinical trials, including a trial in which precancerous polyps are treated with celecoxib (Celebrex), an arthritis drug that selectively inhibits the pro-inflammatory enzyme COX-2.

DuBois is past president of the AACR, chairman and president of the AACR Foundation and a fellow of the AACR Academy. He also served as a member of the AACR board of directors and in several editorial roles with cancer prevention and clinical research journals of the AACR. DuBois serves as vice-chairman of the Stand Up To Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee.

Among other significant honors, DuBois is a recipient of the Gonzalo Rio Arronte Award (2011), the Anthony Dipple Carcinogenesis Award (2006), the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research (2004), the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Gastroenterology Association (2004) and numerous other honors.

Prior to joining MUSC, DuBois was executive director of the Biodesign Institute and the Dalton Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University. He served as the provost and executive vice president at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston from 2007 to 2012, and prior to that, directed Vanderbilt’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and served as director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, DuBois earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He obtained a medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, followed by an Osler Medicine internship and residency and a gastroenterology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past president of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation and the International Society for Gastrointestinal Cancer.

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