American Association for Cancer Research Announces 2018 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 mission of the AACR Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer, and to leverage the expertise of the global brain trust of Fellows of the AACR Academy to advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, and collaboration.

All Fellows are nominated and elected through an annual peer-review process conducted by existing Fellows of the AACR Academy and ratified by the AACR Executive Committee. This process involves a rigorous assessment of each candidate’s scientific achievements in cancer research and cancer-related sciences. Consideration of induction and election into the AACR Academy is restricted to individuals whose work has had a significant and enduring impact on the cancer research field.

“The 2018 Fellows’ scientific expertise has dramatically transformed the cancer research landscape. Their collective efforts to improve cancer research and patient care are unparalleled, and have fundamentally altered the ways in which we study, prevent, diagnose, and treat all cancers. We are delighted to announce their election and induction into the prestigious AACR Academy,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR.

Members of the newly elected 2018 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy include:

  • Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, President, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Senior Vice President for Cancer Services; Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine; E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professor in Oncology, University of California, San Francisco
    For characterizing the significance of cancer susceptibility genes, notably BRCA2, in the pathogenesis of cancer, and for his contributions to the establishment of PARP inhibitors as effective therapeutic options for the treatment of various cancers.
  • René Bernards, DPhil, Professor, Molecular Carcinogenesis, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    For establishing innovative strategies to categorize biomarkers of treatment response and effective treatment combinations, and for pioneering the use of genetic screening tests to identify and stratify individuals at risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Bruce A. Beutler, MD, Director, Center for the Genetics of Host Defense; Regental Professor; Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
    For his discovery of toll-like receptors and for deciphering the biological mechanisms and signaling events that govern tumor necrosis factor-mediated inflammation and innate immune system activation.
  • Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, President and Physician-in-Chief, The City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California
    For elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of natural killer cell development and immune surveillance, and for his commitment to advancing cancer health disparities research and promoting the collection and use of clinical samples to guide screening, treatment, and surveillance protocols.
  • Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, Scientific Director, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, New York; Professor, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia
    For illuminating mechanistic links between the MYC oncogene and cellular metabolism, and for defining how tumor cell utilization of various energy sources contributes to cancer progression.
  • Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD, President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
    For identifying genetic drivers of various hematologic malignancies including leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and myeloproliferative disease, and for his contributions to the development of monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapeutics.
  • Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, President and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director and Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Boston
    For her central discoveries in the fields of transcriptional regulation, lymphocyte differentiation, inflammation, and osteobiology, and for her trailblazing efforts to improve access to care, health policy, and medical education.
  • Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD, The Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology; Deputy Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Co-Director, Gastrointestinal Cancers Program, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
    For her groundbreaking efforts dedicated to the development of cancer vaccines and vaccine combinations that bypass tumor-associated immunotolerance, and for exploiting genomic and proteomic technologies to define biomarkers required for cancer onset, progression, and metastasis.
  • Richard D. Klausner, MD, Founder and Director, Juno Therapeutics; Founder and Director, GRAIL; Executive Chairman, Wisdo, a third-generation internet company; Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Mindstrong, Los Altos Hills, California
    For defining molecular mechanisms of intracellular trafficking, translation, and protein assembly, and for leading the creation of national and international programs to support the spectrum of cancer research, resulting in improved cancer diagnosis and treatment strategies.
  • Roger D. Kornberg, PhD, Winzer Professor in Medicine, Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
    For his pioneering discovery of the structure and function of nucleosomes, and for revolutionizing the understanding of the molecular machinery and orchestrated mechanisms required for eukaryotic gene transcription.
  • Arthur D. Levinson, PhD, Founder and CEO, Calico Life Sciences LLC, South San Francisco, California
    For his visionary leadership and relentless commitment to the discovery and development of targeted therapeutics for the treatment of various malignancies, including HER2/neu monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of breast cancer.
  • Norman E. Sharpless, MD, Director, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
    For his seminal contributions to stem cell biology and to demonstrating the relationship between tumor suppressor activation, cell cycle control, cellular senescence, and molecular aging in tumorigenesis.

Fellows of the AACR Academy are charged with:

  • identifying scientific priorities that will contribute to the AACR’s programs and activities;
  • influencing science and public policy and creating and/or signing letters addressed to members of the U.S. Congress and to the presidential administration regarding important scientific or policy issues as needed;
  • advocating for increased federal funding for cancer research and cancer-related sciences;
  • participating in special meetings to discuss how to accelerate advances in cancer research; 
  • mentoring cancer researchers in training in all research settings; and
  • assisting the AACR in educating the public about cancer, the importance of the AACR, and the value of cancer research to public health and the conquest of cancer.

The AACR will formally induct its 2018 class of elected Fellows of the AACR Academy at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, to be held in Chicago, April 14-18.