Top Irish honour awarded to renowned cancer researcher Professor John Crown


John Crown - Professor John Crown, stock headshot, tags: irish association cancer - CC BY-SA

Renowned cancer researcher Professor John Crown has been bestowed with the “Exemplary Achievement Award for Cancer, Medicine and Science” by the Irish Association for Cancer Research. The ceremony will be held at the prestigious EACR-AACR Basic and Translational Research Conference (EAI2024) meeting at the Convention Center this week.

Professor Crown’s commitment to the field spans over four decades and has been pivotal in driving transformative changes in cancer care. In preparation for receiving a distinguished award at an upcoming Dublin conference, he plans to deliver a lecture entitled “From blunderbusses to smart bombs – a 40-year journey through cancer treatment research.”

His pivotal role in international clinical trials has led to the introduction of groundbreaking treatments for patients in Ireland and around the world, emphasizing the importance of collaborative scientific endeavours.

Professor John Crown’s accolades in cancer research underscore the impact of scientific inquiry and collaboration in tackling a formidable health challenge. As he readies to deliver his award lecture, eager anticipation pervades the cancer research community and beyond, eagerly awaiting the insights and inspirations emanating from this celebration of excellence in medical research.

Professor Crown Acknowledges Collaborative Triumph

Upon receiving this recognition, Professor Crown quickly expressed gratitude towards his colleagues at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin City University, and University College Dublin for their essential contributions to his successes. His appreciation for their contributions reflects the essential teamwork required in the ongoing quest to combat cancer.

Professor Crown, who spent several years in the USA before returning to work at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin 4 in 1993, attributes his award to his collaboration with DCU. At the time, he was among the four medical oncologists in Ireland. His partnership with Professor Martin Clynes, now DCU Emeritus Professor in Biotechnology, began when they decided to work together. This collaborative relationship has endured over the years and has been pivotal in Professor Crown’s achievements.

Achievements and Milestones

Throughout his illustrious career, Professor Crown has spearheaded numerous groundbreaking studies. Professor Crown noted a revolution in cancer care, marked by a heightened emphasis on understanding the behaviour of cancer cells. He highlighted a shift towards treatments beyond chemotherapy. DCU played a pivotal role in this transformative era, with the leadership of younger colleagues such as Dr Norma O’Donovan, Dr Alex Eustace, Dr Naomi Walsh, Dr Denis Collins, Dr Robert O’Connor, and Dr Neil Conlon.

He has also pioneered the establishment of Ireland’s first national clinical trials group and collaborated with international partners on significant oncology research initiatives. This recognition marks another milestone in his illustrious journey, demonstrating the profound impact of his work on cancer treatment and research.

Cancer Prevention: Prof. Crown’s Urgent Insights

In addition to exploring novel treatments, Professor Crown emphasizes the significance of focusing on cancer prevention. He advocates for the complete eradication of smoking and recommends abstaining from alcohol consumption for optimal protection against cancer.

While the association between alcohol and liver, pancreas, oesophagal, and head and neck cancers is well-established, emerging evidence suggests its involvement in breast cancer and indirectly in various other cancer types. Risk factors such as sunlight exposure, HPV infection, and obesity also contribute to cancer susceptibility.

Expressing commitment to collaboration, Professor Crown pledges to work with DCU for as long as they desire his expertise. While he identifies himself as a medical scientist rather than a laboratory researcher, he highlights the value of exchanging ideas with colleagues, citing instances where collaborative brainstorming has led to innovative treatments in oncology.

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