Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Top Breast Cancer Researcher Receives Prestigious Award

11.16.2006

Joyce M. Slingerland, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.(C), director of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at UM/Sylvester, has been honored with one of the nation’s most prestigious funding awards for her novel cancer research. She was one of only five investigators in the nation, in any medical discipline, to receive a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award.

“This is an extraordinary honor for Dr. Slingerland and we are very proud of her and her work,” says Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., dean of the Miller School of Medicine. “Many distinguished colleagues have applied over the years and have failed to reach the award, underscoring the formidable achievement for Joyce. The discoveries made by the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute are leading us in promising new directions for cancer prevention and treatment.”

The Doris Duke award honors physician-scientists with $1.5 million in funding over five years. At UM/Sylvester, the funding will support Slingerland’s groundbreaking work investigating how estrogen affects the action of a key cell cycle inhibitor, p27, to regulate breast cancer cell proliferation.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation solicited two nominations from each medical school in the nation. From that potential pool of about 300 candidates, only 15 were asked to come for interviews, and only five were selected for the award. The $300,000 yearly award supports work to narrow the gap between basic biomedical research and its clinical application through two major initiatives: advancing promising science into real-world patient treatments, and training the next generation of scientists.

“While I personally strive for excellence in my own research, I’m cognizant that my potential impact on science in the future is more likely to be manifest through the people that I have the privilege to train,” Slingerland said.

UM/Sylvester opened in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles 1,400 inpatient admissions annually, performs 3,000 surgical procedures, and treats 3,000 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in 200 clinical trials and receive more than $31 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach opened in 2003 to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from six cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events.

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