Translate page

The 2015 iCMLf Rowley Prize is awarded to Professor Richard Van Ettenvan etten richard

February 2015 - The iCMLf Rowley Prize is designed to recognise persons who have made major contributions to the understanding of the biology of CML. In 2015 the Rowley Prize is awarded to Professor Richard Van Etten. This iCMLf award recognises Dr Van Etten’s groundbreaking research focusing on the development of new therapeutic strategies such as the tyrosine kinase inhibitors.  

Dr Van Etten was a medical resident when researchers first identified the genetic abnormality in the Philadelphia chromosome and the discovery of the leukemia specific oncoprotein BCR-ABL. This discovery led Van Etten to specialise in hematology in the lab of Nobel laureate Dr David Baltimore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “This was very exciting to me because I was convinced that this protein might be the direct cause of leukemia”, he said. His research on CML, including the development of the first animal model of the disease, later contributed to the development of molecularly targeted drug therapies such as imatinib that inhibit the abnormal protein. 

Professor Richard Van Etten is a fellowship-trained hematologist and oncologist who specialised in the treatment of leukemia and other blood disorders. After postgraduate training in internal medicine and hematology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, he was postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute in Boston. Dr Van Etten went to become a physician at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a faculty member in the departments of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School until he joined Tufts Medical Center as a professor of medicine. At Tufts, he held several positions, including leader of the Hematologic Malignancies Program and member of the graduate programs in Genetics, Immunology, & Molecular/Cellular Physiology at Tufts University. In the Tufts Cancer Center, he was acting Associate Director for Clinical Sciences and was subsequently appointed Director in 2009. Dr. Van Etten became Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California, Irvine, in 2013. 

Dr. Van Etten’s major research interests include the function and regulation of c-ABL protein; mechanisms of leukemogenesis by BCR-ABL1; identification of novel therapeutic strategies for Philadelphia-positive leukemia; and assessment of targeted therapeutic agents for hematologic malignancies.