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AACR Announces Fellows of the AACR Academy Class of 2020

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 scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. Fellows of the AACR Academy serve as a global brain trust in the cancer field, helping to advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research.

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 Academy Steering Committee and AACR Executive Committee. This process involves a rigorous assessment of each candidate’s scientific accomplishments in cancer research and cancer-related sciences. Only individuals whose work has had a significant and enduring impact on cancer research are considered for election and induction into the AACR Academy.

“This year’s collection of elected Fellows of the AACR Academy continues the AACR’s rich tradition of recognizing the most significant contributors to cancer research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The 2020 class consists of 19 trailblazing pioneers in various scientific areas who have accelerated the pace of progress against cancer. We are honored to have them join our 212 existing Fellows and look forward to celebrating their scientific accomplishments.”

The members of the 2020 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy are:

Myles A. Brown, MD
Emil Frei III Professor of Medicine; Director, Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

For elucidating the role of steroid hormones and their receptors in promoting the onset and progression of various hormone-dependent malignancies and for the discovery of regulatory complex components such as the p160 class of transcriptional co-activators that facilitate the epigenetic regulation of steroid receptor activity.

Judith Campisi, PhD
Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, California; Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California

For groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of the links between aging and cancer and for her research related to identifying the molecular mechanisms associated with cellular senescence, aging, and tumorigenesis that has defined the role of DNA damage and repair in genomic instability and premature aging.

Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD
Director, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology; S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology; Professor of Urology; American Cancer Society Research Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

For demonstrating the presence of chromosomal rearrangements in solid tumors including the identification of the TMPRSS2-ETS family of gene fusions and for harnessing such discoveries to define novel underlying pathologies in prostate cancer as well as other epithelial cancers.

Alan D. D’Andrea, MD
Director, Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers; Director of the Center for DNA Damage and Repair, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School, Boston

For pivotal contributions to the field of DNA damage and repair that have defined the specific defects responsible for the development of Fanconi anemia and for elucidating the role of nuclear protein complexes on chromatin remodeling, cell cycle checkpoints, and DNA repair.

Mark M. Davis, PhD
Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection; The Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor of Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

For identifying the first T cell receptor genes responsible for the detection of foreign antigens, contributing to the characterization of T cell receptor variable regions and for developing imaging techniques capable of capturing interactions that occur at immunological synapses.

Gregory J. Hannon, PhD
Director and Senior Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; Professor of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

For fundamental contributions to characterizing the role of cyclin-dependent kinases and small RNAs including microRNAs, piwi-interacting, and short-hairpin RNAs in cell cycle regulation, carcinogenesis, and drug development.

Rakesh K. Jain, PhD
A. W. Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology); Director, E.L. Steele Laboratories, Department of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

For landmark studies describing and highlighting the relationship between the tumor microenvironment and surrounding vasculature and for his investigations involving antiangiogenic therapy to induce tumor vascular normalization that have resulted in improved survival rates for a number of solid tumors.

Maria Jasin, PhD
Laboratory Head, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

For illuminating the role of homologous recombination in maintaining genetic stability, demonstrating the crucial role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in facilitating such genetic events and for proving that BRCA2 loss, coupled with aberrant p53 activity in breast cells, can result in replication stress and subsequent tumorigenesis.

Robert S. Langer, ScD
David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

For vast contributions and discoveries in the field of drug delivery systems and for spearheading the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, generating synthetic polymer systems capable of facilitating controlled drug release as well as serving as platforms for the engineering of blood vessels, cartilage, and skin.

Bert W. O’Malley, MD
Thomas C. Thompson Chair in Molecular and Cellular Biology; Chancellor, Baylor College of Medicine and Associate Director of Basic Research, Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston

For pioneering research focused on the understanding of molecular endocrinology, gene regulation, and steroid receptor biology that has revealed how intracellular hormones and cofactors function at the DNA level to regulate protein production, affect cellular function, and modulate cancer cell metastasis.

Drew M. Pardoll, MD, PhD
Professor of Oncology; Director of Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy; Director of Cancer Immunology, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

For enriching the understanding of tumor immunology and immunotherapy through his discovery of gamma-delta T cells and interferon-producing killer dendritic cells and for his contributions to developing GVAX and Listeria monocytogenes-based cancer vaccines.

Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

For dissecting the role of intratumor heterogeneity in breast cancer and metastatic disease to develop risk assessment and personalized cancer therapy models and for extensively characterizing the metastatic potential of polyclonal tumors compared to monoclonal tumors.

Peter J. Ratcliffe, FRS, FMedSci
Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine; Director, Target Discovery Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford; Director of Clinical Research, Francis Crick Institute, London

For his landmark, Nobel Prize-winning contributions to the understanding of the molecular responses to oxygen depletion, specifically the identification of oxygen sensing and signaling pathways that link hypoxia-inducible factor 1 to the availability of oxygen, which has proven to be critically important to the understanding of tumor initiation and progression.

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Surgery and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles

For his seminal clinical research contributions that have led to the development of pembrolizumab as the first-in-class approved anti-PD-1 immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma, for his characterization of BRAF, CTLA-4, and MEK in cancer, and for deciphering the molecular mechanisms responsible for immunotherapeutic resistance, which have since fueled additional efforts to understand the relationship between the immune system and cancer.

Gregg L. Semenza, MD, PhD
Director, Vascular Program, Institute for Cell Engineering; C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

For his revolutionary, Nobel Prize-winning contributions to uncovering the molecular mechanisms of oxygen regulation within cells and for discovering hypoxia-inducible factor 1, critical for cellular adaptation to changing oxygen levels, which has had far-reaching implications for the treatment of numerous diseases characterized by low oxygen levels, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Charles Swanton, MD, PhD
Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute and University College London Cancer Institute; Thoracic Oncologist University College London Hospitals, London

For his innovative research focused on identifying molecular mechanisms of cancer evolution and its impact on drug resistance and patient stratification and for demonstrating the crucial biological connection between intratumor heterogeneity and clinical cancer biomarker efficacy.

David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD
Roy J. Zuckerberg Professor of Cancer Research; Director, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

For his trailblazing contributions to establishing human pancreatic cancer mouse models, for developing preclinical and clinical therapeutic strategies for the disease, and for characterizing many of the barriers to successful pancreatic cancer treatment, including poor drug delivery and the presence of survival factors in the microenvironment.

Michael Wigler, PhD
Russell and Janet Doubleday Professor of Cancer Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

For his renowned contributions to cancer genetics and the establishment of genetically engineered animal cells and for first describing a role for the RAS gene family in human cancer and describing how point mutations are capable of activating the oncogenic potential of select genes.

Sir Gregory P. Winter, CBE, FRS, FMedSci
Master, Trinity College; Professor Emeritus, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom

For Nobel Prize-winning scientific breakthroughs including the development of the first humanized antibodies, for establishment of refined phage display technology that has led to the development of adalimumab, the first marketed fully human antibody approved by the FDA, and for collective contributions to the generation of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of various cancers and autoimmune diseases.