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Jack Schultz Chair in Basic Science

Established in 2002 by the Board of Associates at Fox Chase Cancer Center, this chair honors pioneering geneticist Jack Schultz, PhD, and his contributions to basic science, cancer research, and the life and character of Fox Chase.  This chair was established to recognize and support an outstanding leader in the field of basic science who represents the highest standards of excellence.

Beatrice Mintz, PhD

After completing the PhD degree at the University of Iowa in 1946, Beatrice Mintz went directly to a teaching appointment at the University of Chicago. Her first opportunity for full-time independent research came in 1960, when she joined the Institute for Cancer Research / Fox Chase Cancer Center.

There she undertook a long-planned project: the experimental production of mice in which all tissues comprised two genetically different populations of cells. The experiment revealed that the complex individual originates from a few developmentally flexible “stem cells” in the early embryo that divide and  give rise to more differentiated stem cells, forming a branching “tree” of clones. Mintz then speculated that cancer might be an aberration of development, in which a stem cell proliferates excessively at the expense of orderly differentiation. In novel experiments with mouse teratocarcinomas, she learned that this was the case.

Mintz next found that the DNA of a specific gene could be injected into a fertilized egg and become incorporated into the genome. With this approach, she produced a mouse model of malignant melanoma — a virtually untreatable disease in humans. This model may ultimately enable successful treatments to be devised.

Dr. Mintz’s accomplishments have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1973, and by many awards including the Genetics Society of America Medal (1981), the Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine (1990), the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (1996), and the American Cancer Society National Medal of Honor for Basic Research (1997).

In 2002 the Fox Chase Cancer Center named her the first occupant of the Jack Schultz Chair in Basic Science.