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Nobel Laureate and Former NIH Director Dr. Harold Varmus to Deliver Keynote Address at Fox Chase Cancer Center's Annual Postdoctoral Fellows Conference

PHILADELPHIA (June 5, 2000) -- Nobel Prize winning scientist Dr. Harold Varmus will deliver the keynote address at the 5th annual Fox Chase Cancer Center Postdoctoral Fellows Conference, Friday, June 9th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Center. The annual event attracts the best and brightest scientists from the Philadelphia region.

Dr. Harold Varmus, former Director of the National Institutes of Health and co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, is currently the president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Dr. Varmus won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work he did as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco. There, Dr. Varmus, Dr. J. Michael Bishop and their co-workers demonstrated the cellular origins of an oncogene from a chicken retrovirus. This discovery led to the isolation of many cellular genes that normally control growth and development and are frequently mutated in human cancer. For this work, Varmus and Bishop received the 1989 Nobel Prize.

In 1993, Dr. Varmus was named by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a position he held until the end of 1999 when he left to become CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

Dr. Varmus will speak at 11:15 a.m. in the Fox Chase auditorium. The focus of his talk will be on the action of oncogenes in human cancer.

The event promotes collaborations among postdocs at different institutions and pushes discovery in cancer research forward. In addition, the event is designed to provide postdocs with information that will facilitate their transition from trainee to independent scientist. The attendees will represent Fox Chase, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, Princeton University, and Thomas Jefferson University.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at:

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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