University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Fellow Receives Pediatrics' Grumbach Award

By Phyllis Brown, UCSF News Services | June 20, 2006

UCSF pediatric oncology-hematology fellow Jennifer Lauchle, MD, has received the 2006 Melvin Grumbach Award for Pediatric Research for her work on modeling the genetics of acute myeloid leukemia.

Lauchle's research has the long-term goal of developing more targeted and effective therapies for acute myeloid leukemia, specifically, inhibiting proteins that are abnormally activated in cancer cells. Inhibiting the proteins would kill the cancer cells, but not normal tissue.

Acute myeloid leukemia is seen in children, but primarily occurs in adults. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,000 men and women will be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2006.

The Grumbach Award is presented annually to recognize the contributions of young physician-scientists, and to honor Melvin Grumbach, MD, commonly recognized as the father of modern pediatrics at UCSF. Grumbach was chair of the Department of Pediatrics from 1966 to 1986.

"I am honored to receive this award and want to recognize all of the talented pediatric research fellows in our department," Lauchle said. "It's an honor to receive an award named for Dr. Grumbach, who has contributed so much to the field of pediatrics."

"Melvin Grumbach took the department from being a small, regional clinical enterprise to being a national powerhouse," according to Walter Miller, MD, chief of the Pediatric Endocrinology Division and chair of the Grumbach Award Committee.

When Grumbach stepped down as chair of the department, his colleagues established the award in his honor, to recognize outstanding scientific research in pediatrics. Scientists in every branch of pediatric research have received the award, according to Miller.

Grumbach has received numerous honors, most notably election to the National Academy of Sciences and receipt of the American Pediatric Society's John Howland Award, the highest award in pediatric medicine.

A member of the Grumbach award committee for 20 years, Miller says that all six of this year's nominees were "absolutely outstanding. We expect continued wonderful things from Dr. Lauchle."

Lauchle conducted her research under the guidance of Professor of Pediatrics Kevin Shannon, MD, who congratulated her on her work and award.

Read more at Phyllis Brown, UCSF News Services