Dennis Slamon

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, USA

Dennis J Slamon, MD, PhD, serves as director of Clinical/Translational Research, and as director of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). He is a professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and executive vice chair for research for UCLA’s Department of Medicine.

For 12 years, Dr Slamon and his colleagues conducted the laboratory and clinical research that led to the development of the new breast cancer drug Herceptin, which targets a specific genetic alteration found in about 25 per cent of breast cancer patients. To acknowledge Dr Slamon’s accomplishments, President Clinton appointed Dr Slamon to the three-member President’s Cancer Panel in June 2000. He has gone on to make major impacts in the treatment of metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and a variety of other tumour types.

Dr Slamon has won nearly two dozen national research awards honouring his scientific endeavours. In 2000, Dr Slamon was awarded the Translational Medicine Award by the USCD-Salk Institute as well as the Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology Millennium Award for significant achievement and leadership in breast cancer research. In 2002, he received the Jeffrey A Gottlieb Memorial Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. In 2003, Dr Slamon received the Dorothy P Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research, an international award given by the Kirk A and Dorothy P Landon Foundation and the American Association for Cancer Research. In 2004, the American Cancer Society presented Dr Slamon with the Medal of Honor, the top award bestowed by the organisation. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association at the University of Chicago. That same year, he received the William McGuire Memorial Award at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

In 2006, Dr Slamon was honoured with the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s David A Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture. Also in 2006, Slamon received the European Institute of Oncology Breast Cancer Award; the 2nd Umberto Veronesi Award for the Future Fight Against Breast Cancer and the Lister Award for Translational Medicine from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. In 2007, Dr Slamon received the 19th annual Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize, awarded by Harvard Medical School. Also in 2007, he received the Friends of the National Library of Medicine Distinguished Medical Service Award and the Gairdner International Award, one of the most prestigious awards in biomedical science.

In 2008, Dr Slamon received the Daniel Nathans’ Memorial Award from the Van Andel Research Institute and in 2009, he was awarded the Medical Science Award by the UCLA Medical Alumni and Aesculapians.

A 1975 honours graduate of the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr Slamon earned his PhD in cell biology that same year. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, becoming chief resident in 1978. One year later, he became a fellow in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCLA.