Academy award for Cambridge geneticist and cancer guru
Leading Cambridge scientist, genetics and cancer pioneer Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld, has won an internationally recognised honour – the coveted Foulkes Medal 2015 – from the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Dr Rosenfeld (pictured above) is a senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and founder and chief scientific officer at Cambridge genetics technology business Inivata.
The Foulkes Medal is awarded biennially to an outstanding bioscience researcher within 10 years of completing their PhD. Dr Rosenfeld's career has so far spanned several disciplines and industries where he has made seminal contributions. Some of his most prominent contributions have been his recent work in cancer research, in the field of circulating cancer DNA in which Inivata specialises.
Trained as a physicist and later obtained a Ph.D in systems biology, Dr Rosenfeld began working in translational research within Rosetta Genomics, where he was instrumental in making the company a leader in microRNA-based diagnostic tests for cancer.
In pursuit of his vision for molecular cancer diagnostics, based on circulating cancer DNA, Dr Rosenfeld left industry and moved to the UK to work as a group leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.
Within his first year his laboratory became one of the few worldwide to obtain accurate data on circulating cancer DNA in patient plasma. His recent work, with partners at the Cambridge Institute proved how circulating cancer DNA is a better way of monitoring how a patient responds to treatment for metastatic breast cancer. A similar collaboration resulted in a method for the sequencing of circulating cancer DNA that can identify cancer mutations during treatment.
Dr Rosenfeld will receive the Foulkes Medal at the Academy of Medical Sciences' AGM on December 3, along with a cash prize. As part of the award, he will be invited to deliver a lecture on his research at the Academy’s annual spring meeting for clinician scientists in training at the Royal College of Physicians in London, in February 2016.
The Foulkes Foundation was established in 1972 by Dr Ernest Foulkes to promote medical research, the training of scientists and the study of medicine.
Dr Rosenfeld said: “It is an honour and privilege to be selected for the Foulkes Foundation Medal. The objectives of the Foundation and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the breadth of its activity across different disciplines and organisations, align with my personal goals and interests that I have pursued throughout my career. “I am delighted at this vote of confidence and encouragement to further promote research that aims to influence medical practices and policies.”