OTTAWA, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Ottawa researcher Dr John Bell has been named the 2011 recipient of one of Canada's most prestigious scientific honours, the Canadian Cancer Society's Robert L. Noble Prize, which is given for outstanding achievements in cancer research.
"Dr Bell's pioneering research embodies the excellence and innovation that forms the basis of the Society's top scientific award — the Robert L. Noble Prize," says Dr Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "His exciting work in developing oncolytic virus-based cancer therapies is extremely promising and will lead to more effective therapies in the future that will save lives. We are pleased to see him receive this honour."
Dr Bell is a senior scientist of cancer therapeutics at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a professor in the departments of medicine and biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa.
"To be honoured in recognition of the esteemed Canadian scientist, Robert L. Noble, who has made such impressive contributions to how cancer is treated today, empowers me to continue my search for more effective therapies," says Dr Bell. "I'm delighted to accept this honour and thank the Canadian Cancer Society for maintaining high research standards in this country."
Dr Bell has led a number of important initiatives aimed at developing oncolytic virus-based cancer therapies and evaluating their clinical potential. He has created an oncolytic virus consortium of Canadian laboratory and clinical researchers to explore the potential of virus-based cancer therapies. In addition, Dr Bell directs the biological therapeutics alliance of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
In 2011, Dr Bell's group published a landmark study in the prestigious scientific journal Nature showing, for the first time, that oncolytic vaccinia viruses delivered intravenously can consistently infect and spread within tumours without harming normal tissue in patients.
Dr Bell has previously been awarded a senior research scientist award from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the scientist award from the Medical Research Council. He has participated and chaired grants panels for several research granting agencies and been a member of Canadian Cancer Society board of directors. His publication record in international journals has been exemplary. Dr Bell is also recognized as a superb role model, supervisor and mentor.
Dr Bell was one of three Ontario researchers to receive Awards for Excellence today. More information about the scientists and the Awards for Excellence can be found at Honouring our researchers at cancer.ca.
About the Robert L. Noble Prize
The Robert L. Noble Prize is given for outstanding achievements in cancer research. It honours Dr Noble, an esteemed Canadian investigator whose research in the 1950s led to the discovery of vincristine, a widely-used anti-cancer drug. At the time, vincristine was one of the most effective treatments available for Hodgkin's disease. This prize provides $2,000 for the recipient and $20,000 for their research.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. If you want to know more about our organization or if you would like information about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
Image with caption: "Dr John Bell is the recipient of the Canadian Cancer Society's Robert L. Noble Prize. (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120509_C5775_PHOTO_EN_13443.jpg
For further information:
Karen Ramlall, Manager, Research Communications, Canadian Cancer Society, National office: (416) 934-5341; Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Koserski, Sr Coordinator, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division: (416) 323-7030; email@example.com