American Association for Cancer Research Announces 2017 Class of Fellows of the AACR Academy


​PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today announced its newly elected class of Fellows of the AACR Academy.

The AACR Academy serves to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. All Fellows are nominated and elected through a rigorous peer-review process conducted by existing Fellows of the AACR Academy and ratified by the AACR Executive Committee. This process involves an assessment of each candidate on the basis of his or her scientific achievements in cancer research and cancer-related biomedical science. Only individuals whose work has had a significant and enduring impact on the field are eligible for election as AACR Fellows.

These celebrated individuals comprise a prestigious brain trust of global leaders in cancer research who provide as needed scientific insight and expert guidance in science policy to the AACR as the organization continues to pursue its important mission to accelerate the prevention and cure of all cancers.

“This year’s newly elected fellows from the U.S. and around the world have made quintessential scientific discoveries that have and continue to revolutionize how we study, treat, and prevent cancer. We are thrilled to announce their election and induction into the AACR Academy,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR.

Members of the newly elected 2017 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy include:

  • Sir Adrian P. Bird, PhD, Buchanan professor of enetics, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
    gFor characterizing CpG islands and highlighting the role of DNA methylation in the regulation of gene expression and disease onset.
  • Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, director, Department of Regulation in Infection Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany; visiting professor, Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; honorary professor, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany; honorary professor, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany
    For elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing CRISPR-mediated viral immunity and for her contributions to the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system.
  • Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, Uris professor of clinical medicine; professor, pathology and cell biology; professor, genetics and development; professor, microbiology and immunology; director, Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, New York 
    For demonstrating the significance of proto-oncogenes and select genetic abnormalities including chromosomal translocations in lymphomagenesis.
  • Nancy E. Davidson, MD, senior vice president, director, and full member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; president and executive director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; head, Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington, Seattle
    For defining key molecular drivers of breast carcinogenesis and for establishing second-line therapeutic approaches for the treatment of breast cancer.
  • Vishva M. Dixit, MD, vice president of research; staff scientist, Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California
    For uncovering the role of caspases and associated signaling molecules in death receptor-mediated cell death and immune responses. 
  • Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; Li Ka Shing chancellor's chair in biomedical and health sciences; professor, Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California
    For revealing bacterial mechanisms of viral immunity and for contributions to the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system used to manipulate genomic DNA.
  • Carl H. June, MD, Richard W. Vague professor in immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia
    For designing chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
  • Michael Karin, PhD, distinguished professor of pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla
    For categorizing how environmental stress, hormones, inflammation, and obesity activate key signaling pathways involved in cancer.
  • Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director, Duke Cancer Institute; William and Jane Shingleton professor of pharmacology and cancer biology; professor of pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
    For ascertaining key steps of the DNA damage response pathway, deciphering mechanisms of p53-mediated cell cycle inhibition, and for defining the role of ATM in modulating mitochondrial function, insulin signaling, and cellular metabolism.
  • Tomas Lindahl, MD, FRS, emeritus scientist, Francis Crick Institute, London
    For advancing the understanding of DNA damage repair through his discovery of the process of base excision repair and for isolating and characterizing several key components of the DNA repair machinery.
  • Paul L. Modrich, PhD, James B. Duke professor of biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    For clarifying the mechanisms of DNA mismatch repair and demonstrating its role in the onset of various cancers including hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.
  • Karen H. Vousden, PhD, professor, The Crick Institute; chief scientist, Cancer Research UK, London
    For describing various p53 regulatory mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis, including MDM2 inhibition of p53 function and the role of p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) in p53-mediated cell death.

The AACR will formally induct its 2017 class of elected Fellows of the AACR Academy at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, to be held in Washington, D.C., April 1-5.