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Ludwig's Webster Cavenee honored with 2016 Chinese Government Friendship Award

Oct 4, 2016

Ludwig extends its warmest congratulations to Webster (Web) Cavenee on his receipt of a 2016 Chinese Government Friendship Award, the highest honor accorded to foreigners working in China. The Friendship Award is given to foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China’s economic and social progress in areas such as agriculture, environmental protection, science, technology, healthcare and sports.

Cavenee, who serves as Ludwig’s Director of Strategic Alliances in Central Nervous System Cancers, is best known for providing the first direct genetic evidence for the existence of genes that suppress the formation of tumors and for using such information to predict the development of cancer. More recently, he and his colleagues have explored the biological effects of a mutant receptor commonly associated with the incurable brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in an effort to identify and exploit novel vulnerabilities in the tumor. Cavenee is also a leader of GBM AGILE, a pioneering initiative involving researchers from the US, China, Australia and Europe to accelerate and refine the clinical development of new therapies for GBM. A new method to clinical trial design, GBM AGILE will enable researchers to tailor their treatments to the molecular profiles of GBM tumors and adapt strategies for intervention as new patient-centered scientific knowledge of this aggressive cancer is attained.

In addition to his role at Ludwig, Cavenee is currently a distinguished professor at the University of California at San Diego. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Leopoldina German Academy of Science and the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a former president of the American Association for Cancer Research. Cavenee earned his Ph.D. with honors in 1977 from the University of Kansas and conducted postdoctoral research at the Jackson Laboratory, MIT and the University of Utah. He has published more than 380 papers in scientific journals and has received scores of awards and honors for his landmark contributions to the biomedical sciences.

The award was formally presented to Cavenee by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai on September 28, followed by a National Day reception on September 29 with President Xi Jinpeng and Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the people, both in Beijing.