The National Foundation for Cancer Research hosted its annual bash last night to honor the winner of the sixth Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center scientist Beatrice Mintz. More than 150 people gathered to celebrate the achievement, including the five previous prize winners: Harold Dvorak, Ronald DePinho, Carlo Croce, Webster Cavanee, and Peter Vogt. In introducing her, Vogt told attendees that Mintz, who began her scientific career in the mid-1940s and joined Fox Chase in 1960, was "ahead of the field by about 20 years." He added, "All her discoveries have been ground-breaking and incisive." Mintz continues to run her lab and is the Jack Schultz Chair in Basic Science at Fox Chase.
Best known for her work elucidating the role of stem cell differentiation and developing transgenic mouse models of various forms of cancer, Mintz recalled some highlights of her career during her talk last night and encouraged scientists to keep tackling the big questions — "the bigger, the better," she said, "because they will continue to open previously closed doors." On a forward-looking note, Mintz said that "the question of metabolism in cancer cells is really of the utmost importance."