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Brupbacher Prize for Erwin Wagner

13 May 2003

The Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize is bestowed by the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Foundation to scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to basic oncological research. It is the highest Swiss science prize to be awarded personally. This year, the award will go to IMP Senior Scientist and Deputy Director Erwin F. Wagner and to Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. The ceremony takes place within the framework of a scientific symposium in Zurich.

In experiments with mouse bone cells, Erwin Wagner and his team found that tumor genes are not a priori disease oriented but play a key role in the normal development of bones. According to the researchers, cancer and the control of normal development processes are two sides of the same coin. This insight implies completely new concepts for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer. In the future, the aim will be to interrupt the signalling chain for the division of cancer cells with drugs rather than to combat tumour tissue in a "broadband war".