Albert Baldwin, PhD, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and associate director of basic research at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the 2022 recipient of the Hyman L. Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award.
Baldwin is internationally recognized for his research that has generated critical insights into the NF-kappaB transcription factor and its pivotal role in cancer-related processes. He will be presented with the award during a reception held at UNC Lineberger later this spring.
The Battle Foundation of Rocky Mount established the award in 2007 to recognize exceptional cancer research at UNC-Chapel Hill. The honor includes a $25,000 prize and the Battle award fund is a permanent endowment held by the UNC Health Foundation.
In their letter nominating Baldwin for the award, Lee M. Graves, PhD, professor of pharmacology, UNC School of Medicine, Shawn Hingtgen, PhD, associate professor, Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Robert S. Hagan, MD/PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine, UNC School of Medicine, praised him for making “seminal advances in our understanding of the Nf-KB transcription factor and its pivotal role in cancer-related processes.” They also noted this his research has established him as a leader nationally and internationally and made him an extremely valuable colleague at UNC.
“His basic research program has led to discoveries of tremendous impact for cancer biology. His original discoveries and contributions to our understanding of NF-KB and the network of signaling events regulating it, have greatly improved our knowledge of the process of cancer initiation, cell differentiation and drug resistance,” they wrote.
Baldwin was also lauded for collaborating on the development of a new approach for modeling brain cancer – organotypic brain slice culture platform – to enable the study of genomic and cellular processes and high-throughput drug screening. This innovative approach has garnered National Institutes of Health funding, interest from the research community, and shows significant promise for translational research and new therapies.
“Al has been a foundational leader for basic and translational research at UNC Lineberger. Over the course of his remarkable career, he has led a sustained and high impact research program focused on understanding mechanisms of cancer development, drug resistance and therapeutic approaches to treat cancer,” said UNC Lineberger Director Shelley Earp, MD. “Moreover, his truly selfless service to the cancer center and its junior faculty has been exemplary. His influence on the cancer center and Carolina has been profound.”