The Vilcek Foundation: Austrian-born Franziska Michor wins a 2015 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

Franziska Michor was picked as the winner of a Creative Promise Prize in Biomedical Science for her research that fuses evolutionary biology, mathematics, and clinical research toward a better understanding of cancer genesis and treatments. 

Dr. Michor is a professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, where she leads a National Cancer Institute-sponsored Physical Science-Oncology Center aimed at using physical sciences to address intractable challenges in cancer biology.  Her mathematical modeling efforts have deftly unraveled the dynamics of cancer cell evolution.  By taking a quantitative approach, Dr. Michor has furnished a precise understanding of the cellular basis of drug resistance seen among cancer patients treated with the cancer drug Gleevec.  She also designed novel cancer drug treatment regimens that might help increase the odds of patient survival by altering the dose and timing at which cancer drugs are administered.  Early-stage clinical trials to test the logistical feasibility of Dr. Michor's alternative drug regimen for non-small-cell lung cancer and to develop an alternative radiation therapy schedule for a form of brain tumor called pro-neural glioblastoma are underway.  Franziska Michor was born in Vienna, Austria.

About the Vilcek Foundation
The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia.  The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States, was inspired by the couple's careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country.  The foundation awards annual prizes to immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and sponsors cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival.  To learn more, please visit

About the Vilcek Prizes
The Vilcek Foundation believes that immigrant contributions are invaluable to advancing the American arts, sciences, and culture. Now in their tenth year, the Vilcek Foundation Prizes pay tribute to and spotlight individuals whose accomplishments embody this belief. The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science honors a researcher with records of major achievement in her or his field. The winner of the prize is awarded a $100,000 unrestricted cash prize and an unique trophy designed by Austrian-born designer Stefan Sagmeister. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promises in Biomedical Science, established seven years ago, commend young immigrant scientists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the early stages of their careers. The winners each receive a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize and a certificate designed by Stefan Sagmeister. All prizewinners will be honored at a ceremony in New York City in April 2015.

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