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Kensler_Receives_Cancer_Research_Award - 04/01/2010


Release Date: April 1, 2010

Thomas Kensler, Ph.D., professor in the Environmental Health Sciences and a renowned cancer researcher at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, received the 16th annual American Association for Cancer Research-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.

Kensler was recognized for his work developing and implementing practical and effective approaches for protection against environmentally-induced cancers throughout the world. The award was presented during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2007 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Calif. Kensler’s research focuses on the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in the causation of cancer by chemicals to serve as a basis for the prevention, interruption or reversal of these processes in man.

A practical goal of his research has been to develop the tools to test the hypothesis that elevation of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens using drugs or foods is a useful strategy for chemoprevention in humans. His recent research has highlighted the importance of the Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway as a target for chemoprevention through the induction of carcinogen detoxication, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory genes that collectively protect the genome against electrophilic carcinogens and free radicals. These findings not only have importance in cancer research but have also been extended to the larger field of adaptive responses to many environmental stresses.

In their citation, AACR leadership stated, "[Kensler] has provided outstanding leadership to bring together multidisciplinary teams of basic scientists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and clinicians to the field of chemoprevention in a multicultural, international setting. His studies are landmarks in showing the translation of basic science for human benefit, particularly with their implications for prevention of disease." Kensler, who is a member of the Division of Toxicology in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, gave a lecture entitled, "Translating Molecular Targets for Chemoprevention into Interventions for At-Risk Populations," at the 2007 AACR Annual Meeting on April 17, 2007.

The AACR and the American Cancer Society established the Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Award in 1992 to honor outstanding research accomplishments in the fields of cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention. Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or

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