American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

World’s Oldest and Largest Cancer Research Organization Elects New Leadership

April 8, 2008

American Association for Cancer Research chooses officers, directors and nominating committee members for 2008 and beyond

PHILADELPHIA - Tyler E. Jacks, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been named president-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He succeeds Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, who will become president. William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and worldwide head for Ortho Biotech Oncology Research and Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Research and Development, who has served as AACR president for the 2007-2008 term, will fulfill the role of past president.

These positions will take effect on Monday, April 14, 2008, at the AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif. The president-elect, president and past president each serve terms of one year, comprising the period between annual meetings.

Tyler E. Jacks, Ph.D., is the director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, the David H. Koch Professor of Biology at MIT, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Jacks' research interests are in the genetic events that contribute to the development of cancer. His laboratory has engineered a series of novel, mutant mouse strains that accurately mimic human cancer and thus serve as animal models for exploring the cellular pathways regulated by cancer-associated genes.

"We are experiencing an unprecedented and truly remarkable pace of discovery in cancer research today," said Jacks. "As the leading cancer research organization in the world, the AACR plays a vital role in promoting the flow of information from these discoveries between scientists and clinicians which ultimately impacts on the lives of people with cancer."

Jacks has served in several leadership positions for the AACR, including the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee. He serves on the editorial board of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and was a senior editor of Molecular Cancer Research. Jacks has co-chaired several AACR Special Conferences, was a co-chair of the 2003 AACR Annual Meeting, and served as faculty for the "Molecular Biology in Oncology" Educational Workshop. Jacks has also received several awards recognizing his scientific accomplishments, including the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research.

Jacks received his B.A. in biology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, MIT.

Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. is the provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Previously he served as director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

DuBois' research focuses on determining the role of certain inflammatory mediators in the progression of colorectal cancer. One of the goals of this research is to develop better strategies for prevention and early detection.

He is deputy editor of the AACR's newest journal, Cancer Prevention Research, and serves on the editorial boards for Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, and CR, the AACR's magazine about people and progress in cancer. DuBois is the chair of the Jeannik M. Littlefield-AACR Grants in Colorectal Cancer Review Committee and has served as a member of the Science Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee, as well as many other AACR Committees. He has also served as chair or co-chair for several AACR Special Conferences on the topic of colorectal cancer and the AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research. Additionally, DuBois is the current chair of the Task Force on Cancer Prevention. He is the recipient of the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research and the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, among others.

William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D. is senior vice president and worldwide head for Ortho Biotech Oncology Research and Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Research and Development. He previously served as the director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; 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.

Hait's laboratory work focused on two major research interests: determinants of sensitivity to anticancer treatments and signal transduction systems uniquely altered in malignant cells.

As president, Hait has strengthened AACR's leadership role in translational cancer research. During the past year, he launched the AACR's Translational Cancer Medicine Meeting Series and established the AACR-FDA-NCI Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative, of which he currently serves as co-chair.

Five new members were elected to the AACR board of directors for the 2008-2011 term. They are:

Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., professor, Department of Pathology and Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on the role of inflammatory cells and leukocyte proteases as critical regulators of skin, lung and breast cancer development.

She is a co-chair of the AACR Annual Meeting 2008 and co-chair of the AACR 2008 Special Conference "Chemical and Biological Aspects Inflammation and Cancer." She has been active within the AACR as deputy editor of Cancer Research, co-chair of several meeting program committees, and is a member of the Tumor Microenvironment Working Group Steering Committee. Coussens was a recipient of the AACR-Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award.

Kenneth W. Kinzler, M.D., director, Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research has focused on the molecular analysis of human cancer with special emphasis on the genetics of colorectal cancer.

Kinzler has served the AACR as a member of several committees, including the Publications Committee, Science Education Committee, and the Annual Meeting Program Committee. He was also active on the editorial board of Cancer Research.

Bruce A. J. Ponder, Ph.D., director, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute; co-director, Hutchison/Medical Research Council Research Centre, University of Cambridge; co-director, Strangeways Research Laboratories for Genetic Epidemiology; Li Ka Shing Professor and head of Oncology, University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital; director, Cancer Research Campaign, Human Cancer Genetics Research Group, University of Cambridge; honorary consultant physician, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK. Ponder's research focuses on laboratory and clinical studies of inherited susceptibility to cancer.

Ponder served on the editorial boards for Cancer Research and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. He co-chaired an AACR Special Conference and has served as a member of several AACR committees including the Annual Meeting Education Committee and the Special Conferences Committee.

Eddie Reed, M.D., Abraham Mitchell Distinguished Investigator, University of South Alabama. Reed is known for his translational work on platinum-DNA adduct, DNA damage and nucleotide excision repair, and new agent development in ovarian cancer and metastatic prostate cancer.

He has been active in many AACR committees and currently serves on the editorial board for Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Reed is a member of the AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) Council, and has led numerous MICR programs and initiatives. He served as a co-chair for the first AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities. Additionally he has been mentor for the Scientist↔Survivor Program®. Reed was the recipient of the AACR Minorities in Cancer Research Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Margaret W. Shipp, M.D., professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; associate physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital; director, Lymphoma Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dana-Farber/Harvard Comprehensive Cancer Center; attending physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Bone Marrow Transplant Service, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Hospital. Her clinical and laboratory research focuses on the biology of normal and malignant B-cells and diffuse large B cell lymphoma, as well as the interaction between tumor cells and tumor microenvironment.

Shipp has served on the editorial board of Clinical Cancer Research, participated in the ASH-AACR Think Tank on Hematologic Malignancies, and has been active in several AACR committees.

Four new members were elected to the AACR nominating committee for the 2008-2010 term. They will serve alongside the four current members to develop the candidate slates for president-elect and the board of directors. With the board of directors, they will also choose the candidates for the next nominating committee slate. Newly-elected members are:

Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale, Ph.D., head and chair, Department of Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Rikshospitalet- Radiumhospitalet Medical Center; Professor in Tumor Biology, Medical Faculty University of Oslo, Norway.

Joan S. Brugge, Ph.D., chair and professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA.

Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and member, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Max S. Wicha, M.D., director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; distinguished professor of Oncology and professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; attending physician, Medical Oncology In-Patient and Consultation Services, General Medicine In-Patient Service, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI.

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

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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 nearly 27,000 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 and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is the only journal worldwide dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Megan Davies