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Young Scientist Wins AAAS Wachtel Cancer Research Award


In an award that recognizes outstanding work by young scientists, AAAS and the journal Science Translational Medicine have honored Scott Tomlins, whose discovery that two particular genes are fused together in almost half of all prostate cancers quickly led to the development of a urine test that detects prostate cancer.

The 34-year-old formally received the Martin and Rose Wachtel award, a $25,000 cancer research prize, at a 15 July ceremony and reception at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Tomlins is an assistant professor of pathology and urology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"The selection committee was united in its support of Scott Tomlins as the first winner of the Wachtel Award," said Katrina Kelner, a member of the Wachtel award selection committee and Editor of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"His discovery of a frequent gene fusion in prostate cancer altered the way the field thought about the genetic causes of the common solid tumors — not only prostate but also lung, breast and colon cancer."

Tomlin's prize-winning essay describing his research was published in the journal's 10 July issue.

The Martin and Rose Wachtel award is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Ms. Wachtel, whose bequest of more than one million dollars to AAAS established an endowment to recognize AAAS members performing breakthrough cancer research.