Eugene Gerner of the Arizona Cancer Center named a Leading Edge Researcher at The University of Arizona

Eugene W. Gerner, PhD, honored at UA Innovation Day celebration.

Eugene W. Gerner, PhD, director of the Arizona Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Program and the National Cancer Institute-funded Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in GI Cancers, has been named a Leading Edge Researcher at The University of Arizona.

Dr. Gerner will be honored at the UA’s sixth annual Innovation Day celebration on March 24. He is being recognized for his development of a two-drug combination shown to reduce the risk of recurrent colorectal polyps, a precursor to colon cancer, by up to 95 percent with minimal toxicity.

Dr. Gerner, a professor of cell biology and anatomy and a member of BIO 5 Institute at the UA, is a co-founder of Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals LLC, established to develop therapies to prevent cancer in people with elevated risks for the diseases.

“This award could not have been given to a more brilliant or deserving scientist,” said Arizona Cancer Center Director David S. Alberts, MD. “Dr. Gerner has been in the Arizona Cancer Center for 35 years and has continued to make seminal scientific accomplishments in the areas of prevention, early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal GI precancerous lesions and invasive GI cancers. His work is internationally recognized as the best in polyamine function and action.”

Innovation Day at the UA celebrates The University of Arizona’s success in technology development and innovation by highlighting the research achievements of students, staff, and faculty. Innovation Day is organized and hosted by the University of Arizona Office of Economic Development and the Arizona Center for Innovation.

The Arizona Cancer Center is the state’s premier National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. With primary locations at The University of Arizona in Tucson and in Scottsdale, the Center has more than a dozen research and education offices throughout the state and 300 physician and scientist members working to prevent and cure cancer. For more information, go to