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Cancer research icon, former dean visits GSBS

March 05, 2013

Tracey Barnett


Alfred G. Knudson, Ph.D.,  poses with three past recipients of The Alfred G. Knudson, Jr. Outstanding Dissertation Award: MyLinh Thi Duong, Ph.D. (left); Angela Alexander, Ph.D.; and Jason Stafford, Ph.D. More than 50 people attended the dedication ceremony of a granite and glass plaque honoring the winners of Knudson Dissertation Award located over Dr. Knudson’s original GSBS desk in the GSBS Administrative Offices' hallway.  

The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston hosted a visit with Alfred G. Knudson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., renowned geneticist and cancer researcher, and GSBS dean, 1970-1976, on Tuesday, March 5. 

Born in Los Angeles in 1922, Knudson received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1944, his M.D. from Columbia University in 1947 and his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1956.

Knudson has received numerous awards including the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award (1998), the Kyoto Prize in Life Sciences (2004) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research (2005). He is also a member of several scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences. 

Knudson, right, and John Mendelsohn, M.D., discuss changes at GSBS outside the School's library near Knudson's dean portrait. Knudson was dean of the School from 1970-76.  

Knudson is best known for his “two-hit” theory of cancer causation which explained the relationship between the hereditary and nonhereditary forms of a cancer, and predicted the existence of tumor-suppressor genes that can suppress cancer cell. 

Knudson visit events included a dedication ceremony of a granite and glass plaque honoring the winners of The Alfred G. Knudson, Jr., Outstanding Dissertation Award located over Dr. Knudson’s original GSBS desk in the GSBS Administrative Offices' hallway. More than 50 people attended the ceremony including former MD Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D. and three past recipients of the Knudson Award. 

To see photos from the Knudson events, please visit our Facebook gallery.