OHSU’s Brian Druker Receives 2010 Portland First Citizen Award

08/21/09  Portland, OR

The Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors® (PMAR) honored Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at Oregon Health & Science University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, with its 2010 Portland First Citizen Award. Druker will be recognized at the annual Portland First Citizen Banquet, scheduled for April 21, 2010, at the Governor Hotel, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Druker specializes in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). As a young oncologist, he wrote to the families of patients who died, promising to find a cure. At that time, only 50 percent of patients diagnosed with this particular form of cancer survived the disease. In collaboration with Novartis, Druker led the way to develop Gleevec, a drug that revolutionized the way cancer is treated by zeroing in on specific cancer-causing molecules, thereby avoiding serious damage to other, non-cancerous cells. In 2001, Gleevec was approved by the FDA for treatment of CML. Since then, Gleevec has been approved for use in pediatric patients with CML, the first FDA approved cancer drug treatment in more than a decade. Today, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with CML survive. In addition, Gleevec has been approved by the FDA to treat six other cancers.

Druker joined OHSU in 1993. He received his medical degree from the University of California School of Medicine at San Diego, completed his residency in internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and did an oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School.

For his work in the development of Gleevec, Druker has received numerous awards, the most recent of which is the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research. Established in 1945 by Albert and Mary Woodward Lasker, the Lasker Award is often referred to as “America’s Nobel”; many winners have later received the Nobel Prize.

Among the many other honors Druker has received are the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Pioneer of Survivorship Carpe Diem Award, and the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society. His greatest daily reward is “seeing patients in clinic who have benefited from my work.”

About the award
The Portland First Citizen Award was created in 1928 by the Portland Realty Board (now PMAR) to honor civic achievements and business leadership within the community. Considered one of Portland’s most prestigious awards, the individuals who have received it form an honor roll of the city’s most prominent leaders during the last eight decades.
The Portland First Citizen banquet sponsors include The Oregonian and the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS™). Advance registration for the event is required. For tickets or event information, call PMAR at 503-459-2152. For more information on the Portland First Citizen award, please visit www.pmar.org/firstcitizen.

About Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors
PMAR, the voice of real estate in the Portland metropolitan area, is Oregon's largest local Realtor® association. Representing more than 6,000 professionals involved in all aspects of the real estate industry, PMAR is committed to protecting and promoting homeownership, establishing and maintaining high professional standards of practice and creating unity in the profession.

About the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
With the latest treatments, technologies, hundreds of research studies and approximately 400 clinical trials, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only cancer center between Sacramento and Seattle designated by the National Cancer Institute — an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. The honor is shared among the more than 650 doctors, nurses, scientists and staff who work together at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to reduce the impact of cancer.