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Roy B.
Republican MO

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  • Tribute to Dr. Fred Hawthorne

    by Senator Roy Blunt

    Posted on 2013-01-31

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    BLUNT. Madam President, today I wish to honor Dr. Fred Hawthorne, who recently was named as a recipient of the National Medal of Science for his important research involving the use of the chemical element boron in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, and other diseases. On February 1, 2013, Dr. Hawthorne will be one of only 22 recipients from across the country receiving the award from President Obama in a ceremony at the White House. This recognition certainly is well-deserved.

    As the director of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri, as well as the Curators' Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Radiology, Dr. Hawthorne has pioneered the field of boron research throughout his impressive career. The National Medal of Science, the highest award the country can bestow upon our scientists, is a fitting recognition of his critically important and innovative work.

    Having grown up in Missouri and Kansas, Fred Hawthorne enrolled in 1944 as a chemical engineering student at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, now the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Hawthorne later transferred to Pomona College in California, where he completed his degree in chemistry. In 1953, he earned his Ph.D. from UCLA for his work in organic chemistry. In the following years, Hawthorne's work took him across the country--from Iowa to Alabama, Pennsylvania to Massachusetts--before returning him to UCLA in 1969, where he continued his ground-breaking research for more than 37 years.

    Upon retiring from his academic career at UCLA in 2009, Hawthorne returned once again to Missouri to help build MU's International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine. Thanks to Hawthorne's direction, this research center is an international leader in the field of boron neutron capture therapy, the cell-selective radiation method he helped pioneer. His work has shown incredible promise in developing noninvasive treatments for cancer and other diseases. As a cancer survivor myself, I am especially grateful for the treatments Dr. Hawthorne is exploring to help the many people whom the disease affects.

    Fred Hawthorne's years of dedicated research certainly have made lasting contributions to the fields of science and medicine. I thank him again for his important work and congratulate him on this hard- earned recognition. ____________________

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