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Abstract

Susan Band Horwitz is a Distinguished Professor and holds the Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She is co-chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and associate director for therapeutics at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Dr. Horwitz received her PhD in biochemistry from Brandeis University. She has had a continuing interest in natural products as a source of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Her most seminal research contribution has been in the development of Taxol®. Dr. Horwitz and her colleagues made the discovery that Taxol had a unique mechanism of action and suggested that it was a prototype for a new class of antitumor drugs. Although Taxol was an antimitotic agent blocking cells in the metaphase stage of the cell cycle, Dr. Horwitz recognized that Taxol was blocking mitosis in a way different from that of other known agents. Her group demonstrated that the binding site for Taxol was on the β-tubulin subunit. The interaction of Taxol with the β-tubulin subunit resulted in stabilized microtubules, essentially paralyzing the cytoskeleton, thereby preventing cell division. Dr. Horwitz served as president (2002–2003) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the C. Chester Stock Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor, and the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research.

The following interview was conducted on January 23, 2014.

Keyword(s): autobiography

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A Conversation with Susan Band Horwitz
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2015-01-06
2024-06-19
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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