UMass Medical School Professor Wins Award: Scholar program awards $2 million to fund young cancer researchers

August 31, 1999

WORCESTER, Mass. - Kai Lin, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology & molecular toxicology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has been named a 1999 Kimmel Scholar by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research. The award, presented to ten researchers every year, supports outstanding young investigators in all cancer fields whose projects "embody innovative approaches to basic and traditional research." The awards were announced at the 90th annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers.

Dr. Lin will receive $100,000 for two years to pursue his reasearch program entitled, "Structural basis of tumor suppression of TGF-beta signaling." Dr. Lin is focusing on how certain cellular substances control the growth of cells, which has implications for cancer research and therapies.

The Kimmel Award provides start-up funds for researchers early in their careers, when their research is still developing and other funding can be difficult to obtain. Promising young investigators are selected by the Foundation's Medical Advisory Board for work that emphasizes basic cancer research, rapid translation of basic science into potential therapeutic applications, and clinical research with innovative treatment strategies. Established in 1993 by Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of Jones Apparel Group, the Foundation has contributed nearly $50 million to healthcare, arts, and educational institutions, including the Kimmel Cancer Center of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The Kimmel Scholar Award Program was established in 1997 and provides $2 million per year for research.

"According to the National Cancer Institute, only 29 percent of individual cancer research proposals receive funding," says Sidney Kimmel, chairman of the Foundation. "Imagine the progress we could make with 100 percent funding of these promising proposals. I'm proud to support committed researchers who are our nations hope for saving the half million lives each year that are lost to this terrible disease."

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, attracting more than $92 million in research funding annually. A perennial top-ten finisher in the annual US News & World Report ranking of primary care medical schools, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research, clinical care and public service. In 1998, the UMMS system of hospitals and clinics merged with Memorial Health Care to form UMass Memorial Health Care, the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.