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Date: Mar 30, 2007
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory President to Deliver 14th Annual Axinn Lecture
Dr. Bruce Stillman to speak on the impact of genetics research on cancer diagnosis and treatment
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will speak on the impact of genetics research on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers at the 14th annual Axinn Lecture at Hofstra University.
His lecture, "Understanding Cancer: New approaches to diagnosis and therapy," will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 in the Leo A. Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, south campus. A reception for Dr. Stillman will be held from 6-6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture.
Dr. Stillman will discuss how coupling genetics to therapy is changing cancer treatment and also some of the new technologies being introduced into cancer therapy research. Cancers are caused by genetic changes in our genomes and accumulate during our lifetime. With the complete genetic map of humans in hand, new technologies are being employed to better diagnosis cancer and target therapies.
The Axinn Lecture was initiated with an endowment from Joan and Donald E. Axinn, for whom the main Hofstra library is named. Past speakers have included playwright Wendy Wasserstein; authors Mary Gordon, Joseph Heller and Susan Isaacs; author and editor Daniel Okrent; newspaper columnist and author Jimmy Breslin; and New York Times sports columnist George Vescey.
A native of Australia, Dr. Stillman obtained a B.S. degree with honors at The University of Sydney and a Ph.D. from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in 1979 and has been at the Laboratory ever since, being promoted to the scientific staff in 1981. Dr. Stillman has been director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor since 1992, a position he still
holds. In 1994, he succeeded Dr. James D. Watson as director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was appointed president in 2003.
Dr. Stillman's research focuses on how DNA replication is duplicated in cells, a process that ensures
accurate inheritance of genetic material from one generation to the next. He has contributed to the elucidation of the mechanism of DNA replication of human viruses and to the processes that ensure accurate replication of the human genome and its associated protein structures called nucleosomes.
Dr. Stillman was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1993. In 1994, he was awarded the Julian Wells Medal (Australia) and in 1999 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to scientific research in the field of molecular biology. Dr. Stillman was elected in 2000 to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and in 2001 to the European Molecular Biology Organization. In 2004, he was awarded the Sloan Prize by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (with Dr. Thomas Kelly). In 2006 he received the Basic Science award from the Society of Surgical Oncology. He has received three honorary doctorates.
Dr. Stillman is a past recipient of research awards from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation. He is a former chair of the Experimental Virology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and advisor to research organizations including the M.I.T. Cancer Center and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Stillman is a director of the New York Biotechnology Association, former chair of the Board of Scientific Councilors of the National Cancer Institute, and former vice-chair of the National Cancer Policy Board. Most recently he was a member of the National Cancer Institute advisory committee that proposed the Cancer Genome Atlas, a project to link genetic changes in tumor DNA with diagnosis and therapy of human cancer.
Donald E. Axinn is founder, chairman and CEO of the Donald E. Axinn Companies, an investment firm and developer of office and industrial parks throughout the New York metropolitan area. He also was a director and partner of publishing house Farrar, Straus & Giroux. An active Long Island philanthropist, in 1983 he co-founded the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which provides shelters and kitchens for the homeless and hungry on Long Island. He has published two novels and eight books of poetry, and has produced a film, SPIN, from his novel of the same name. He has served on the board of The American Academy of Poets, the advisory board for Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, and was recently Chairman of The Nature Conservancy, Long Island Chapter. A graduate of Middlebury College and holder of a Master’s Degree in humanities, he has also been awarded five honorary doctorates. Mr. Axinn also served as an associate dean of arts and sciences at Hofstra University. In 2002, the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Roosevelt Field, of which Mr. Axinn is a trustee, opened the Donald E. Axinn Air and Space Museum to honor his philanthropy and aviation achievements.
Joan Axinn graduated from Hofstra College in 1950. In 1952, she went to work for Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party. In the 1960s she worked on Wall Street selling stocks and bonds. Ms. Axinn later became a case worker with the Nassau County Department of Social Services. A licensed pilot, she also sat on the board of directors of the Nassau County Mental Health Association and joined her husband, Donald, in mutual support of the Interfaith Nutrition Network. In 1973, she decided to pursue a law degree and graduated from Hofstra University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1976. In 1992, she ran for the Fourth U.S. Congressional District seat. Virtually unknown at the time, she lost in the primary by a slim margin of about 200 votes out of a total 23,000 cast.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students find their edge to succeed in more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 23 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis.