Six years after the War on Cancer was launched in 1971, Susan Band Horwitz ’58 found that Taxol—a substance obtained from the bark of the Pacific yew tree—could bind to microtubules in cells, stabilize them, and thereby lead to cell cycle arrest and subsequent tumor cell death.

A molecular pharmacologist at Albert Einstein Medicine of Yeshiva University, Horwitz conducted breakthrough research that led to the development of Taxol, one of the most frequently prescribed drugs for the treatment of ovarian, breast, and lung cancer to millions of patients worldwide.

In March, Horwitz received the 2019 Canada Gairdner International Award in recognition of her work on Taxol. This award acknowledges top biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to medicine with the goal of contributing through research to increased understanding of human biology and disease.