NEWS | October 21, 2013

Ralph de Vere White wins lifetime achievement honor

Society of Urologic Oncology awards him Huggins Medal


Ralph de Vere White, associate dean for cancer programs at UC Davis School of Medicine, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and a distinguished professor of urology, has received the Huggins Medal Award from the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO).

Ralph de Vere White © UC Regents Ralph de Vere White © UC Regents

De Vere White will receive the prestigious medal in recognition of his major contributions and lifetime achievements in research and clinical practice, which have contributed to the progress in the treatment for patients with genitourinary tumors.

De Vere White said he was moved to be chosen for this year’s award.

"There is hardly a nicer feeling than when your peers, who know all your faults, decide to give you an honor like this," de Vere White said.

Formal presentation of the medal will take place at the society’s 14th annual winter meeting held Dec. 4-6, 2013 in Bethesda, MD. De Vere White will give the Huggins lecture preceding the award presentation on the importance of team science to accomplish research and bring new knowledge in the fight against cancer.

"If I have done one thing well in my career it is having leveraged resources available to the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and to do it by encouraging and allowing people to work in teams," de Vere White said.

De Vere White has long been an active member of the SUO, said Christopher Paul Evans, Chair of the UC Davis Department of Urology and secretary of the society’s board of directors.

“Dr. de Vere White is most deserving of this for his contributions to the understanding of tumor suppressor gene regulation of bladder and prostate cancer and his discovery for a role for microRNA in regulating the androgen receptor in prostate cancer,” Evans said.

De Vere White, the first urologist in the United States to serve as an NCI-designated cancer center director, was president of the Society for Urologic Oncology from 2007-2009.

“One of his major accomplishments during that tenure was to establish the SUO Clinical Trials Consortium, a mechanism for all SUO members and institutions to run large urologic oncology clinical trials together,” Evans said.

The Huggins Medal is named for the Nobel laureate Charles Huggins, the first to demonstrate that androgen promotes prostate tumor growth and that prostate cancer responds to androgen deprivation therapy.

The Society of Urologic Oncology was created in 1984 to enable qualified members primarily interested in the care of patients with malignant genitourinary diseases to meet for the purpose of discussion, development, and implementation of ideas to improve care. The society and its bylaws conform to the guidelines and bylaws of the American Urological Association.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 10,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit


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