UCSF's Nobel Laureate Stands up to Cancer

September 10, 2010
UCSF’s Nobel laureate and molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), will deliver a prime time public service announcement today for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

SU2C, a one-hour, commercial-free program to raise funds for groundbreaking translational research to accelerate the delivery of new therapies to patients, will air today (Friday, Sept. 10) at 8 p.m. on many TV networks and more than 30 online streaming partners like AOL, Yahoo! and YouTube.

During the commercial break preceding the show, the AACR, the sole scientific partner for SU2C, will air a special public service announcement (PSA) featuring a message from Blackburn and the AACR Board of Directors in support of the SU2C initiative. Watch the PSA here

Blackburn is also pictured front and center with UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, who serves on the AACR’s Clinical & Translational Cancer Research Committee on UCSF’s SU2C Facebook page.

Four UCSF scientists have established a SU2C Dream Team. The researchers, focused on breast cancer, are beneficiaries of funds raised via SU2C initiatives.

The SU2C broadcast is dedicated to the 12 million US cancer survivors illustrating how groundbreaking research conducted at institutions such as UCSF can change the tide in the fight against the disease. The show will feature updates on the work of the five SU2C Dream Teams, and Sanjay Gupta, MD, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, will also report on other new medical developments.


Donations can be made via telephone during the show, anytime online at www.su2c.org or Text STAND to 40202 to give $10. All of the funds received from the public will go to research. SUSC has raised more than $100 million for cancer research since 2008.

More on Blackburn


Blackburn, Morris Herztein Professor of Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, was named to receive the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, becoming UCSF’s fourth Nobel laureate. She shares the award with Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack W. Szostak of Harvard Medical School.

The scientists discovered an enzyme that plays a key role in normal cell function, as well as in cell aging and most cancers. The enzyme is called telomerase and it produces tiny units of DNA that seal off the ends of chromosomes, which contain the body’s genes. These DNA units – named telomeres – protect the integrity of the genes and maintain chromosomal stability and accurate cell division. They also determine the number of times a cell divides—and thus determine the lifespan of cells.

The scientists’ research sparked a whole field of inquiry into the possibility that telomerase could be reactivated to treat such age-related diseases as blindness, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases, and deactivated to treat cancer, in which it generally is overactive.

Related Links:


Stand up to Cancer

American Association for Cancer Research

2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine