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Nicola Curtin awarded prestigious international prize.

Nicola Curtin awarded prestigious international prize.

11 February 2021

Nicola Curtin has been awarded a prestigious international prize by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), The Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology

ASPET is pleased to award Dr. Nicola J. Curtin from Newcastle University the 2021 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Award in Pharmacology.  This award was established in 2011 in recognition of the contributions made to drug discovery and development by Dr. Ruffolo.  The award recognizes the scientific achievements of scientists who are at the height of their careers and who have made significant contributions to pharmacology. 

Dr. Curtin is receiving this award in recognition of her pioneering discoveries that PARP inhibitors will be therapeutic for cancer treatment of BRCA mutated cancer. Importantly, Dr. Curtin has developed predictive biomarkers based on pathway function, leading to the first discovery that >50% of ovarian cancer have DNA repair defects targetable by PARP inhibitors.

Dr. Curtin is currently a Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapeutics at Newcastle University.  She earned her PhD from the University of Surrey and joined the staff at Newcastle University shortly after.  She was part of the Newcastle Anticancer Drug Discovery Initiative from 1990 until 2009, where, as well as leading the ATM and DNA-PK inhibitor programs, she led the PARP inhibitor (PARPi) program leading to the first clinical trial of a PARPi for cancer.  In 2002, she proposed that PARPi may have therapeutic benefit in BRCA mutated cancers and her collaboration with Thomas Helleday led to the seminal publication (Nature 2005).  This paradigm-shifting discovery led to the approval of 4 PARPi for cancer treatment of BRCA mutated cancer.  She is a distinguished cancer biologist and pharmacologist as well as an inventor on 15 patents and author of 171 articles.

 

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