Larry Norton, 2018 Double Helix Medal Recipient


Einstein said that it it’s unusual for a
person to do one great thing in their life and he said that Einstein said of
himself he was lucky to have done two I’d say Larry’s done about four what really
makes Larry stand out professionally and personally to me is his total commitment,
his warmth, his vitality he is just a dynamo he’s a true polymath and so he is
interested in everything and he has developed an expertise and facility to
learn new things with an extraordinary ability I made a decision very early in
my life my goal was to do everything that I possibly can to eradicate cancer
from the world that means scientific discovery, that means patient care, that
means administration, governmental activities every aspect of the entire
struggle the impact that Larry has brought that Memorial Sloan-Kettering is
the team-based patient-centered approach to breast cancer everything at
Sloan-Kettering the protocol that’s established you know that you are
getting 21st century medical care it’s just an amazing experience to go to the
Evelyn Lauder Breast Center he and Evelyn together have built a terrific
institution there’s no place like that Larry also plays an important role on
the national fundraising scene to support better and basic research in
breast cancer for example his role as the scientific leader of the Breast
Cancer Research Foundation has really been instrumental in bringing more
attention and better researchers into studying the problem of breast cancer he
came up with this idea of self seating in cancer he has had broad impact on
treatment regimens and he played an instrumental role in the bringing of
Herceptin to the market and that has changed the outcome for tens of
thousands of women he’s tremendously good at seeing innovative new ways to approach
patient care his work on different schedules of chemotherapy to improve
their efficacy has been amazing at the same time he’s an amazing person
to hit new ideas off of I know he’s loved his interactions here at Cold
Spring Harbor my work with Mike wiggler has really been fantastic we’ve been
working together for years he’s a genius at understanding the way DNA functions
the way we can measure abnormalities in DNA and be able to interpret complex
data by using mathematical tools together we’ve made some very
fundamental discoveries that have had a direct impact on my ability to
understand cancer and intervene in cancer therapeutically as well he’s
influenced my work as much as any other scientist I can think of with you know
the notable exception of Jim Watson Larry is a truly great inspirational
fellow Larry’s phenomenal he continues to work at a pace that would exhaust
anybody thirty years younger than Larry is a true rock star of science Larry has
definitely been a leader in the field of breast cancer treatment and research I
don’t know where we would be without him working together as a community we can
accomplish great things the important thing is the direction of the mission
not saying hey you know we’ve accomplished this and let’s be happy
about it but to use that energy and design new approaches, new ideas, new
things and move forward until we’ve eradicated cancer totally from this
world.

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