Lawrence A. Donehower, Ph.D., is professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. His primary research interest is p53 and its relation to cancer and aging, though he also studies other tumor suppressor genes. Lawrence received the award for his research on the function of a gene, p53, that is critical for protecting humans from early cancers. Dr. Donehower generated mice with an altered p53 tumor suppressor gene that confers cancer resistance and accelerated aging. This p53 mutant mouse suggests that not only is the p53 gene important in preventing cancers, but that it may also play a major role in influencing the aging process. Thus, cancer protection can be augmented but perhaps at the risk of accelerating various aspects of aging. Dr. Donehower is now studying these p53 mutant mice to better understand the molecular, cellular, and hormonal bases of normal aging processes.