A Nobel-prize-winning cancer researcher, a biotech industry veteran, and a bioinformatics leader in an ambitious national cancer research program will discuss the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment on Friday, October 21, at 3 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall on the UCSC campus.

The UCSC Foundation Forum, “At the Dawn of Personalized Medicine,” features J. Michael Bishop, University Professor and chancellor emeritus at UCSF; Arthur D. Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech; David Haussler, distinguished professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz; and moderator Moira Gunn of Tech Nation. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and tickets can be reserved online.

The forum will focus on personalized cancer care, a major thrust of current research efforts. In personalized care, doctors design targeted treatments based on the genetic changes found in a patient’s cancer cells. Haussler is involved in efforts to catalog all the genetic abnormalities found in different types of cancers and find connections between specific genetic changes and how patients respond to different treatments.

Bishop is renowned for his pioneering work on the genetic basis of cancer, which remains the focus of research in his lab at UCSF. In 1989, Bishop shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Harold Varmus for their research on cancer genes. Levinson worked with Bishop and Varmus at UCSF as a postdoctoral researcher before joining Genentech in 1980. Genentech’s successes in drug development include the cancer drugs Herceptin and Avastin, which are used in genetically targeted treatments.

Bishop and Levinson will both be honored by the UC Santa Cruz Foundation this month during the annual Founders Celebration. They will receive the Foundation Medal, which recognizes individuals of exceptionally distinguished achievement whose work and contribution to society illustrate the ideals and vision of UC Santa Cruz.

More information on Founders Celebration 2011 is available online at ucsc.edu/founders.