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2019 Featured Talks » Duane Roth Award Presentation

Duane Roth Award Presentation

Awarded to Susan Band Horwitz, PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Presented by Barbara Bry, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem

Susan Band Horwitz, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology
Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Horwitz has a continuing interest in natural products as a source of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Her contributions span several decades of research and encompass agents which have served as prototypes for some of our most important drugs that are currently in clinical use. She made major contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of action of camptothecin, the epipodophyllotoxins and bleomycin. However, Dr. Horwitz’s most seminal research contribution has been in the development of Taxol®, a drug isolated from the yew plant, Taxus brevifolia.

Dr. Horwitz and her co-workers demonstrated that Taxol®’s antimimotic effects were due to a novel interaction between the drug and microtubules that resulted in stabilized polymers. Dr. Horwitz’s pioneering investigations and perceptive analysis identified Taxol® as a prototype for a new class of antitumor drugs. Although no one was interested in Taxol® when she began her studies, today it is an important antitumor drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast and lung carcinomas. Dr. Horwitz's research played an important role in encouraging the development of Taxol® by the National Cancer Institute. The drug has since been given to over a million patients.

Barbara Bry
San Diego City Councilmember
President Pro Tem

Barbara Bry is President Pro Tem of the San Diego City Council representing the 1st District. She serves as Chair of the Budget and Government Efficiency Committee and as Vice Chair of the Rules Committee and the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods.

Prior to serving in office, Barbara was a high-tech entrepreneur and community leader. She worked her way through college and grad school, earning a Master’s Degree in Business from Harvard. While a single working mom, Barbara was on the founding team of several local high-tech companies which have created hundreds of local jobs.

A leader in the San Diego business community, Barbara taught entrepreneurship at UCSD and founded Athena San Diego, an organization that supports the advancement of women in the tech and life science sector. As a business journalist, she has also spotlighted the vibrant small business community that supports our City’s economy and was honored as Small Business Journalist of the Year for San Diego and Imperial Counties by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Barbara has lived here in San Diego for more than 35 years. She is married to Neil Senturia, raised her two daughters here, and is a proud Grandmother. She served as President of the Board of the Children's Museum of San Diego, as Vice Chair of the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation and on the board of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She was also the Bobby Sox team manager for her daughters.