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V. Craig Jordan Joins Fox Chase Cancer Center

PHILADELPHIA (January 3, 2005) -- V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, has joined Fox Chase Cancer Center's division of medical science as vice president and scientific director for the medical science division. Jordan also holds the new Alfred G. Knudson Jr., MD, PhD, Chair in Cancer Research. He served on the faculty of Northwestern University in Chicago since 1993 before moving his laboratory to Philadelphia this month.

Jordan is a pharmacologist known as the "father" of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. His published studies of tamoxifen and other selective estrogen-receptor modulators-called "designer estrogens"-have made him one of the top 20 most-cited breast cancer researchers over the past decade.

"We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Dr. Jordan to our faculty," said Fox Chase president Robert C. Young, MD "Dr. Jordan was a major force in the development of tamoxifen in the 1970s and it has subsequently become a mainstay for treating women with breast cancer. Just six years ago, tamoxifen was also shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 40 percent among high-risk women."

Jordan's wife, Monica Morrow, MD, an internationally recognized breast cancer surgeon, joined Fox Chase in August as chairman of surgical oncology-one of just a few women across the nation to chair a surgery department. She holds the Center's G. Willing "Wing" Pepper Chair in Cancer Research.

Young continued. "Dr. Morrow was a principal investigator on the breast cancer prevention trial involving tamoxifen. This illustrates how Dr. Jordan with his preclinical work and Dr. Morrow with her clinical research work together to accelerate the translation of research from the lab to treatment and prevention."

Before joining Fox Chase, Jordan was the Diana, Princess of Wales Professor of Cancer Research, professor of cancer pharmacology and director of the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern. He was principal investigator for the cancer center's SPORE grant for breast cancer. He was also professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry and professor of medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Jordan has been studying the effects of tamoxifen for his entire career. It originally was studied as a contraceptive but turned out to have the opposite effect. Jordan's interest was in this "anti-estrogen" drug's possible effects on breast cancer, known to be promoted by the hormone estrogen in many cases.

He was the first scientist to focus attention on tamoxifen's anticancer properties and its ability to prevent breast cancer in laboratory mice. His pioneering work guided the evolution from preclinical lab studies to clinical research on the drug, which for the past 30 years has been an established treatment both for advanced breast cancer and as follow-up, or adjuvant, treatment to prevent patients from developing a cancer in the second breast. More recently, he has been involved in developing a second estrogen-modulating compound, the osteoporosis drug raloxifene, now being tested as a preventive agent for breast cancer.

Jordan's long list of national and international awards includes the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation's 2003 Charles F. Kettering Prize for the most outstanding contribution to cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society's 2002 Medal of Honor for basic research, the 2001 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research and the first Brinker International Breast Cancer Award for Basic Science from the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1992. In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II named him an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to international breast cancer research.

In addition, Jordan has been honored by the American Association for Cancer Research, in 1989 and 2002, the British Pharmacological Society, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and many other professional groups and institutions around the world. He also received the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition's 2001 Pink Ribbon Award for outstanding individuals dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Born in Texas to an English mother and American father, he grew up in rural England and earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in pharmacology at the University of Leeds, completing his PhD in 1972. Although appointed to the faculty at Leeds, Jordan first came to the United States for postdoctoral training. He was a research associate and then a visiting scientist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Mass., from 1972 to 1973.

After teaching at Leeds until 1979, he held a one-year appointment at the endocrinology unit at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Berne in Switzerland and then joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1980. For his seminal contributions to the pharmacology of non-steroidal anti-estrogens, Leeds awarded him a doctor of science degree in 1985 and he became a full professor of human oncology and pharmacology at Wisconsin the same year. His roles at Wisconsin included directing the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program until he joined the Northwestern faculty in 1993.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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