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Virginia recognizes top scientists.

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Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist Award recipients for 2014 are Bradley Cox, a physics professor at the University of Virginia, and Paul B. Fisher, professor and chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine.

The honorees will receive their awards at the Science Museum of Virginia’s General Assembly Reception on Thursday.

Cox is one of a small number of physicists whose leadership was essential in making the historic discovery of the Higgs particle possible. He is one of the four members of the review committee that approved the data analysis and endorsed the announcement of the discovery to the world.

Cox had also made important contributions to several seminal studies in particle physics that shed light on symmetry violation and fundamental interactions in particle physics. 

Fisher investigates the mechanisms involved in cancer development and progression to improve methods for cancer prevention, detection and therapy.

He pioneered a technique to study gene expression in tissues or cell types known as subtraction hybridization, which he has used to identify genes involved in important and medically relevant physiological processes including cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases.

Studies in his laboratory focus on understanding the molecular and biochemical reasons for cancer development with a specific focus on understanding how cancers spread, a process called metastasis.

Fisher has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the past 35 years and is among the top 5 percent of NIH funded investigators during this time.

He is founding director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Thelma Newmeyer Corman Chair in Cancer Research and co-leader of the Cancer Molecular Genetics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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