Wilmot Cancer Center Honors Scientists Pioneering Genomic Research

November 18, 2004

A pair of scientists whose discoveries have changed genomic research was honored today by the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  Eric M. Phizicky, Ph.D., and Elizabeth J.Grayhack, Ph.D., received the 2004 Davey Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to cancer research. 

Phizicky and Grahack, a husband-and-wife research team, are considered pioneers in the field of functional proteomics.  They were the first to develop a method to identify genes by the activity of their products on a genome-wide scale, by using all of the 6,144 genes of yeast as a model system.   Their work has broad implications for biological sciences including cancer research.

The Davey Memorial Award was established in 1997 in memory of R. Bruce Davey, a local businessman and community leader who lost his battle with cancer in 1996. It is presented annually to a Wilmot Cancer Center scientist at its annual scientific symposium.

“Their contribution to the sciences is immeasurable.  Their research and discoveries have advanced the study of biologic sciences dramatically and we are grateful for their work,” said Hartmut Land, Ph.D., Director of Basic Sciences at the Wilmot Cancer Center.

Phizicky, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Grayhack, Research Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, joined the University of Rochester in 1987.  Phizicky is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry from Cornell University. He completed post-doctoral work at California Institute of Technology.

Grayhack studied chemistry at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and earned her Ph.D., in biochemistry at Cornell.  She completed post-doctoral work in molecular biology at Cornell and then biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco.

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