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3 International Cancer Researchers to Receive the 2021 Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize

PARIS, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Whilst the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize is widely recognised today as one of the most prestigious European awards in the field of cancer research, many people are unaware of the story behind it. It is the story of Léopold and Alice Griffuel, a couple of philanthropists whose generosity led to the creation of the foundation in 1970. Since then, the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel has honoured the work of researchers who advance science and improve treatment for cancer patients. This year we are celebrating the 49th Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize to honour prestigious international researchers for their scientific achievements. The three 2021 award winners will share a total of €300,000 to pursue their research and take it a step further to improve patient outcomes!

Prix Léopold Griffuel
Prix Léopold Griffuel

The promotion of the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize is overseen by the French Embassies.

Canadian Michael Taylor was presented with the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize for basic research at the French Embassy in Canada by Ambassador Kareen Rispal. The German researcher Stefan Pfister was honoured at the French Embassy in Germany, in the presence of Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes. Lastly, Professor Hiroyuki Mano received his award on Friday 2 April from the French Ambassador to Japan, Mr Philippe Setton.

Awarding creativity, perseverance and patient impact

Created in 1970 thanks to the legacy of physician and lawyer philanthropist Léopold Griffuel through his widow Alice, the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize rewards creativity, perseverance and continuity in cancer research each year. More than a mark of recognition, this is a world-renowned prize which has already twice been the final hurdle before the Nobel Prize.

“It is important to highlight that winners of the Fondation ARC Léopold Griffuel Prize are selected from 12 countries. The disease is global, and solutions to it are too. It is our role at the Fondation ARC Léopold to encourage this research wherever progress is being made. Our aim is to break down barriers between researchers across the world and to promote the development of new relationships between them. This prize is awarded to those who are advancing research, thereby showcasing their work. And it is their progress which will then enable other researchers to take that extra step that will allow us, collectively, to beat cancer” explains Claude Tendil, President of the Fondation ARC for cancer research.

To date, 58 researchers of 14 different nationalities, all from the most prestigious international institutions, have been honoured by a committee of international experts under the auspices of the Fondation ARC for Cancer Research.

The 2021 Léopold Griffuel Prize rewards scientific advances that give cause for hope

For its 49th edition, a jury of 6 international experts, chaired by Professor Hugues de Thé, met to select the 2021 winners.

In basic research, Professors Michael Taylor and Stefan Pfister were honoured for their contribution to the molecular understanding of paediatric tumours and their clinical management.

In particular, researcher Stefan Pfister has made it possible for relapsed children to have access to extremely detailed molecular analyses, so that they can be directed towards very specific treatment. Professor Michael Taylor has been able to decipher important mechanisms in the genesis and spread of medulloblastomas and ependymomas, which are among the most common malignant brain tumours in children. His work has made it possible to distinguish between different forms of these cancers, which have different prognoses.

Finally, Professor Hiroyuki Mano won the first prize in translational and clinical research for his work in identifying a new form of lung cancer and for his contribution to the development of an effective treatment. His work has made it possible to develop treatments that target this anomaly effectively.

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