University of Hawai’i Cancer Center Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2014 Pioneer Award, a national honor bestowed by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
The Foundation awarded Dr. Carbone the recognition for his extensive contributions to the field of mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. It is known to be caused by exposure to mineral fibers such as asbestos and erionite.
The UH Cancer Center’s thoracic oncology team, led by Dr. Carbone and Haining Yang, MD, PhD, has made seminal discoveries in the field of mesothelioma, including the identification of the gene, BAP1, as the cause of familial mesothelioma and melanoma, and of HMGB1 as the protein that promotes the growth of this malignancy. Dr. Carbone had previously worked with Dr. Izzetin Baris to uncover the mystery behind a devastating mesothelioma epidemic in certain villages in a remote area in Turkey. Their research lead the Turkish government to relocate the villagers to a safer location, and to the discovery that mesothelioma can be caused by a genetic predisposition that runs in families.
The Pioneer Award is the latest professional recognition for Dr. Carbone, who was recently ranked by Expertscape.com as one of the top mesothelioma experts in the world. In February, he delivered the very prestigious Grand Rounds lecture at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, and hosted mesothelioma researchers from around the world during a symposium at the UH Cancer Center.
The Foundation’s Pioneer Award honors scientific advances in the field of mesothelioma, with the goal of eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of the disease. The award was presented to Dr. Carbone during the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in Alexandria, VA, where he delivered the keynote address.
Source: A UH Cancer Center press release