The medal is given in recognition of Professor Alan Ashworth’s numerous achievements throughout his career.
He was a key part of the team that in 1995 discovered the gene BRCA2, which is linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer.
He has pioneered new approaches in cancer treatment which exploit genetic weaknesses in cancer cells – for example through his role in the development of PARP inhibitor drugs, which are now undergoing clinical trials as a targeted treatment in patients with BRCA mutations.
More recently, his research has used next-generation sequencing technologies to probe the precise molecular events underlying drug resistance in cancer.
Professor Ashworth took up the position of Chief Executive of the ICR in January 2011, and has continued to drive forward his innovative research and head a large team of researchers.
Upon being informed of his award, Professor Ashworth said: “I’m delighted to be recognised by the Genetics Society’s in winning this medal particularly because we try to apply genetic principles to clinical problems in cancer. It’s a reflection of the hard work of numerous members of my team over many years.”
Professor Ashworth will deliver a prize-winning lecture to celebrate receiving the award in 2015.