Brian E. Henderson, professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine, and Kenneth Norris Jr. Chair in Cancer Prevention, will receive the university’s highest honor next month.
For his pioneering research and distinguished service to USC, Henderson is to be awarded a 1999 Presidential Medallion by President Steven B. Sample during convocation ceremonies March 9.
“It’s a real honor to be recognized by the university for my contributions. It’s not just a personal recognition, but also a tribute to the work of my colleagues in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Cancer Center,” said Henderson.
“I am extremely grateful to the University for allowing me the opportunity to pursue an academic life. I have a great passion for scientific discovery,” he added.
For Henderson, who has been at the university for nearly 30 years, it marks recognition of a long and distinguished career.
Henderson is a world-recognized authority in cancer epidemiology, and he has conducted ground-breaking research on the influence of hormones and genetic factors on the causation of cancers of the breast, ovary, endometrium and prostrate.
As the director USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center from 1983 through 1993, Henderson guided USC/Norris to a position of national prominence in cancer research and treatment and has received many top honors.
In recognition of his scientific achievements, he was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1992.
Additional honors include the University of Chicago’s Distinguished Service Award and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award.
A native Californian, Henderson graduated from UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
His early research was in virology. He spent six years in the Arbovirology Unit at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, then traveled to Africa, to study yellow fever. Upon his return, he accepted a faculty position with USC in 1970 and began his studies in cancer epidemiology.