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VICC’s Moses Named School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

October 27, 2008

By Dagny Stuart

Harold L. (Hal) Moses, M.D., Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Molecular Oncology, has been named a Vanderbilt School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2008. Moses, a professor of Cancer Biology and Director Emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and a 1962 medical school graduate, was honored during this year’s Vanderbilt Medical School Reunion and gave one of the keynote addresses during the October 24 event.

Moses discussed his four decades of cancer research, calling his research program, “My real love.” He delivered an overview of the successes and challenges of treating cancer.

“We know far more about how a cell works and we know what goes wrong in cancer cells,” Moses said. “However we have also discovered that cancers are diverse and this was a big surprise. If we want to cure cancer through treatment we must hit the cancer cell and also treat the microenvironment.”

Moses also noted that there are 11.9 million cancer survivors in the United States and with an aging population there will be a tremendous need for healthcare professionals who specialize in cancer treatment and survivorship.

The Founding Director of Vanderbilt-Ingram now runs the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at Vanderbilt-Ingram. He is well-known for his work on the transforming growth factor-beta family of growth regulatory peptides.

He is the recipient of two Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Cancer Institute, the Ester Langer Award from the University of Chicago for meritorious cancer research, the John Exton Award for Innovative Research from Vanderbilt University and the Rous-Whipple Award for outstanding research accomplishments from the American Association of Pathologists.

In 2008 he was designated a National Associate, an honorary title given in recognition of extraordinary service to the National Research Council in its role as adviser to the nation in matters of science, engineering, and health, by the authority of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Membership in this group is offered as a lifetime appointment.

Moses is a past president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI) and he chairs the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine.