American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2007

America’s Oldest and Largest Cancer Research Organization Elects Leadership

March 26, 2007

American Association for Cancer Research chooses officers, directors and nominating committee members for 2007 and beyond

PHILADELPHIA- Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. of Vanderbilt University has been elected president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research. He succeeds William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Worldwide Head for Hematology Oncology Research Development Johnson & Johnson, who will become president. Geoffrey M. Wahl, Ph.D. of The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, Calif., who has served as AACR president for the 2006-2007 term, will fulfill the role of past president.

These positions are effective April 16, 2007, at the AACR Annual Meeting 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif. The president, president-elect and past president serve terms of one year, comprising the period between annual meetings.

Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., stepped down early last month as director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. This summer, Dr. DuBois will join The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center as provost and executive vice president.

His research focuses on determining the role of certain inflammatory mediators in progression of colorectal cancer. One of the goals of this research is to develop better strategies for prevention and early detection. He and his lab found that COX-2 is elevated in pre-malignant polyps and its presence directly influences progression of and risk for colorectal cancer. DuBois's team is now focused on developing safer alternatives that target the cyclooxygenase pathway further downstream. They recently co-discovered a new tumor suppressor gene, 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH), which is lost in almost all advanced colorectal cancers. Currently his group is determining how 15-PGDH is regulated, and how its expression may be re-established. They are also evaluating key receptor signaling pathways affected by prostaglandins that may serve as useful targets for cancer prevention and/or treatment.

"The AACR is at a critical stage in its evolution as it prepares to celebrate 100 years of progress in the fight against cancer," said Dr. DuBois. "By supporting cancer research from the basic science laboratory all the way to late phase clinical trials, the AACR has taken on the crucial mission of supporting work that will ultimately decrease morbidity and mortality from cancer."

Dr. DuBois is principal investigator on three research grants from the National Institutes of Health, including one MERIT award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. His research also is supported by funding from the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance established by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

Dr. DuBois is on the editorial boards for the AACR journal Clinical Cancer Research, and CR, the AACR's magazine about people and progress in cancer. He is the associate editor of Cancer Research, and is a member of the publications committee, as well as many other AACR committees. Additionally, he has served as chair or co-chair for several AACR Special Conferences on the topic of colorectal cancer.

Dr. DuBois, a Texas native, received his M.D. at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and his Ph.D. at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., recently began a new position as Senior Vice President and Worldwide Head for Hematology Oncology Research Development at Johnson & Johnson. Previously he was the director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and professor of medicine and pharmacology and associate dean for oncology programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Hait's laboratory work focuses on two major research interests: determinants of sensitivity to anticancer treatments and signal transduction systems uniquely altered in malignant cells. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Clinical Cancer Research and co-editor of Holland and Frei's Cancer Medicine. He has also served as chair or co-chair of several AACR meetings, think tanks, and committees relevant to clinical translational research. He is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and serves on several cancer center advisory boards.

Geoffrey M. Wahl, Ph.D., is a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology of the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Wahl's laboratory is currently studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate the p53 stress response pathway, implementing drug and drug combinations to activate this pathway in cancer cells, and identifying and analyzing tissue-specific stem cells and cancer stem cells. Dr. Wahl has served the AACR as a member of the Board of Directors; program chairperson of the 95th Annual Meeting; member of the editorial boards of Molecular and Cellular Biology, DNA Repair, Molecular Cancer Research and Cell Growth and Differentiation; as well as holding numerous other special conference chairs and committee posts.

Five new members were elected to the AACR Board of Directors for the 2007-2010 term. They are:

Judy E. Garber, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic/Clinical Genetics Program; associate professor of Medicine, clinical associate in Medicine, and attending physician, Medical Oncology Service, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; associate physician in Medicine and attending physician, Medical Service, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., director of the Division of Life Sciences, and associate director of Life and Environmental Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; adjunct professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; program leader of Breast Oncology and Cancer Genetics; University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, Calif.

Daniel A. Haber, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; director, Center for Cancer Risk Analysis, and physician, Massachusetts General Hospital; Laurel Schwartz Professor of Oncology and professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; chair, Program in Cancer Genetics, Dana Farber-Harvard Comprehensive Cancer Center, Boston, Mass.

V. Craig Jordan, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc., Alfred G. Knudson Chair in Cancer Research and vice president and research director for Medical Sciences, Fox Chase Cancer Center; adjunct professor, Cancer Biology, Abramson Family Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

Eileen P. White, Ph.D., associate director for Basic Science, member and program leader, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, N.J.; professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University; resident faculty member, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine; adjunct professor, Department of Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, N.J.

Four new members were elected to the AACR Nominating Committee for the 2007-2009 term. They will serve alongside the four current members to develop the candidate slates for president-elect and director. With the board of directors, they will also choose the candidates for the next nominating committee slate. Newly-elected members are:

Stephen H. Friend, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, Advanced Technologies and Oncology, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., West Point, Pa.; president, Aton Pharma, Inc., Tarrytown, N.Y.; president, Rosetta Inpharmatics, LLC, Seattle, Wash.

Elaine V. Fuchs, Ph.D., Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor, professor of Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y.

Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D., president and scientific director, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Ariz; adjunct professor of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

Zena Werb, Ph.D., professor of Anatomy and vice chair of the Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco; faculty biologist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.

For further information on any of the newly elected officers, board of directors, or nominating committee members please e-mail


The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 70 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

Angela DeCicco
(215) 440-9300 ext. 104