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AACR Announces Newly Elected 2024 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 scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. Fellows of the AACR Academy serve as a global brain trust of top contributors to cancer science and medicine who help 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, multistep peer review process that 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.

“We are very proud to announce the election of 30 new Fellows of the AACR Academy this year. These scientific pioneers from around the globe have fundamentally shaped cancer research through their respective scientific accomplishments,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The 2024 class of Fellows includes leaders from many scientific disciplines and areas of study who have collectively contributed to the improvement of the understanding and treatment of cancer. We are thrilled and honored to have them join our 312 existing Fellows and look forward to celebrating their enormous scientific achievements at our upcoming Annual Meeting in April.”

The members of the 2024 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy are:

Frederick W. Alt, PhD

Director, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital; Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

For revolutionizing the understanding of how genomic rearrangements occur, elucidating their role in cancer development and progression, and for discovering dihydrofolate reductase gene amplification in methotrexate-resistant cancer cells and MYCN amplification in neuroblastoma, as well as discovering the mechanisms regulating V(D)J recombination to form exons that encode antibody variable regions.

Laura D. Attardi, PhD

Catharine and Howard Avery Professor of the School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

For groundbreaking research dedicated to delineating p53 transcriptional networks, identifying novel p53 target genes critical for tumor suppression, and for characterizing mechanisms by which p53 governs cell fate.

Sangeeta N. Bhatia, MD, PhD

John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Director, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts

For innovative research dedicated to harnessing micro- and nanotechnologies for cancer diagnostics, drug delivery, tissue regeneration, and disease modeling, creating noninvasive nanosensors to detect and profile tumors, and for significant contributions to improving the diagnostic and treatment strategies available for cancer patients.

Andrea Califano, Dr

President, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub; Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York

For pioneering research efforts in systems biology dedicated to developing methods that combine computational biology and cancer pharmacology approaches to model cancer cell regulatory networks, and for developing the first genome-wide regulatory model of human cells and novel network-based approach for identifying master regulators of cancer maintenance and tumor progression.

John M. Carethers, MD

Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Public Health, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California

For leading-edge findings involving colorectal cancer pathogenesis in patients with DNA mismatch repair defects, groundbreaking genetic cohort studies defining colon cancer disparity outcomes, and for uncovering that colon cancer patients of African American descent often present with elevated levels of the EMAST biomarker commonly associated with poor prognosis.

Craig M. Crews, PhD

John C. Malone Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Management; Executive Director, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery, Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut

For trailblazing research involving the use of small molecules to manipulate intracellular protein levels via targeted protein degradation, pioneering the development of proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs), and leading critical investigations concerning synthetic proteasome inhibitors such as carfilzomib, approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Benjamin L. Ebert, MD, PhD

George P. Canellos, MD, and Jean S. Canellos Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Chair of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

For seminal contributions to elucidating the mechanism of action of thalidomide analogs in multiple myeloma, characterizing 5q deletions in myelodysplastic syndrome, defining the importance of age-related clonal hematopoiesis in carcinogenesis, and providing critical insights into targeted protein degradation as a therapeutic strategy.

Silvia C. Formenti, MD

Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology; Sandra and Edward Meyer Professor of Cancer Research; Professor of Radiation Oncology and of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine; Associate Director of Translational Research, Meyer Cancer Center; Radiation Oncologist-in-Chief, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York

For instrumental studies demonstrating that radiotherapy contributes to immune rejection of cancer by functioning as in-situ vaccine, uncovering the role of radiation field, dose and fractionation, and translating these findings to clinical trials.

Susan M. Galbraith, MBBChir, PhD

Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, Cambridge, United Kingdom

For visionary contributions to the clinical development of several cancer medicines, including ipilimumab, the first immune checkpoint inhibitor; nivolumab, the first PD1 inhibitor in multiple indications; olaparib, the first PARP inhibitor; osimertinib for lung cancer; durvalumab for multiple cancers; tremelimumab for lung and hepatocellular cancers; savolitinib for lung cancer; acalabrutinib for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and capivasertib for breast cancer.

Richard D. Gelber, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics (Biostatistics), Harvard Medical School; Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Professor in the Department of Data Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

For celebrated contributions to improving patient care through his development of innovative biostatistical methodologies including the Quality-adjusted Time Without Symptoms of disease and Toxicity of treatment (Q-TWiST) and Subpopulation Treatment Effect Pattern Plot (STEPP) methods that have had a profound impact on treatment efficacy and patient outcomes, and his leadership of biostatistical collaborations on practice-changing clinical trials in breast cancer, pediatric leukemia and pediatric AIDS.

Gad Getz, PhD

Director, Cancer Genome Computational Analysis, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Director, Bioinformatics Program, and Paul C. Zamecnik Chair in Oncology, Mass General Department of Pathology and the Krantz Family Center for Cancer Research, Boston, Massachusetts

For fundamental contributions to cancer genomics, including developing analytical tools for somatic mutation detection, establishing gene mutation signatures as fundamental pillars of cancer evolution, and creating statistical and computational methodologies by which to characterize cancer heterogeneity, point mutations and copy number variations, and identify novel cancer drivers.

Todd R. Golub, MD

Director and Founding Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Charles A. Dana Investigator in Human Cancer Genetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts

For lauded research contributions that have revolutionized cancer biology and treatment, including pioneering the use of DNA chips to identify leukemia-specific genetic fingerprints and developing several innovative methods to analyze cancer gene expression, including Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), now frequently used to characterize tumors and inform treatment decisions.

Margaret A. Goodell, PhD

Professor and Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biology; Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine; Director, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

For invaluable contributions to elucidating the role of interferons in coordinating hematopoietic regeneration from stem cells in response to stress and pathogens, discovering the critical role that methylation plays in hematopoietic stem cell regeneration and expansion, and establishing DNMT3A as a master epigenetic regulator and tumor suppressor in the hematopoietic system.

Nathanael S. Gray, PhD

Krishnan-Shah Family Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California

For pioneering innovative structure-based chemical biology approaches to designing and developing protein inhibitors and degraders that have transformed the future of cancer therapeutics, and for spearheading novel combinatorial chemistry and genomic approaches that have resulted in the development of several cancer therapies, including ceritinib, asciminib, and osimertinib.

Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD

Director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, and Chen-Huang Center for EGFR Mutant Lung Cancers; Senior Physician; David M. Livingston, MD, Chair, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

For steadfast contributions to elucidating the significance of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in lung cancer etiology and treatment, codiscovering novel EGFR mutations responsible for lung cancer progression, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance, and establishing irreversible pyrimidine inhibitors as plausible lung cancer drug targets, leading to the development and approval of osimertinib.

Johanna A. Joyce, PhD

Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Lausanne; Member, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch, Lausanne, Switzerland

For profound contributions and insights into the evolution of the immune tumor microenvironment during cancer development and metastasis, revealing the immense complexity of the brain tumor microenvironment, elucidating mechanisms by which altered tumor microenvironments confer resistance to diverse therapies, and uncovering effective combination therapies targeting different cell types in the tumor microenvironment.

David Malkin, MD

CIBC Children’s Foundation Chair in Child Health Research; Director, Cancer Genetics Program; Staff Oncologist, Division of Hematology/Oncology; Senior Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children; Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For unparalleled contributions to the understanding of pediatric cancer genetic predisposition syndromes, elucidating the role of germline TP53 mutations in Li-Fraumeni syndrome, optimizing pediatric cancer patient clinical surveillance protocols, and improving precision pediatric oncology through novel clinical trials involving adolescents and young adults with rare and difficult to treat cancers.

John M. Maris, MD

Giulio D’Angio Endowed Professor of Pediatric Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For paramount pediatric cancer research resulting in the discovery of the genetic basis of neuroblastoma, elucidation of its molecular pathogenesis, development of novel methods for immunotherapy target discovery, and establishment of anti-tumor peptide-centric chimeric antigen receptors across multiple human leukocyte antigen alleles in neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers, overcoming the challenge of targeting intracellular proteins.

Miriam Merad, MD, PhD

Chair, Department of Immunology and Immunotherapy; Director, Precision Medicine Immunology Institute; Professor of Oncological Sciences, Medicine, Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York

For heralded contributions in elucidating the roles of myeloid cells in inflammation and tumorigenesis and paving the way for the advancement of targeted therapies focusing on myeloid cells in both cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD

Charles A. Dana Chair in Human Cancer Genetics; Director, Center for Cancer Genomics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor of Genetics and Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

For revered contributions to cancer research, including discovering key lung cancer driver mutations, developing innovative single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and single-template sequencing for human cancer genome analysis, and pioneering novel gene sequencing-based therapeutic strategies and molecular diagnostic assays that have since been commercialized and globally adopted.

Roeland Nusse, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Developmental Biology; Member, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine; Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

For unrivaled investigations involving the Wnt signaling pathway, including the initial discovery and purification of Wnt family proteins, and for subsequently unraveling their significance in physiological development, stem cell biology, tissue regeneration, and carcinogenesis.

David Pellman, MD

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Professor of Cell Biology and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Associate Director for Basic Science, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts

For illustrious contributions to the understanding of cell division including spindle assembly and positioning, asymmetric cell division, and cytokinesis, which, when aberrant, contribute to genomic instability, for developing novel technologies such as combining long term live cell microscopy and single-cell genome sequencing, and for identifying mechanisms driving the rapid evolution of cancer genomes.

Steven Piantadosi, MD, PhD

Faculty Member, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Professor in Residence, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

For vital large-scale and cross-disciplinary led initiatives that have resulted in the establishment and optimization of innovative biostatistical, translational oncology, and early clinical trial methodologies that have become benchmarks in the field and continue to be featured in “Clinical Trials: A Methodologic Perspective,” widely considered a foundational textbook for clinical trial design.

Lori J. Pierce, MD

Professor of Radiation Oncology; Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

For illuminating contributions to establishing radiotherapy in the multimodality treatment of breast cancer, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy for node-positive breast cancer and incorporation of radiosensitizing agents, which have collectively resulted in improved treatment outcomes for breast cancer patients with cancers of all molecular subtypes.

Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD

Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention; Director, Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Director, Center for Global Health Equity, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

For groundbreaking contributions to precision prevention of cancer in clinical practice by characterizing the role of pathogenic variants in cancer risk and outcomes, and for generating foundational knowledge and approaches toward understanding and eliminating cancer health disparities in the global African Diaspora.

John T. Schiller, PhD

Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and NIH Distinguished Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

For championed research that has reduced the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers through the elucidation of HPV virion assembly and infection mechanisms, determining how virus-like particle vaccine-induced antibodies prevent infection and tumorigenesis, and demonstrating that introduction of short viral protein fragments can induce anti-tumor immune responses.

Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD

Professor, Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

For remarkable contributions to the establishment of immune checkpoint therapies and vaccine technologies, identifying novel alternative checkpoints governing treatment response and resistance, and translating such findings into clinical trials involving immunotherapy combinations designed to improve the standard of care for renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer patients.

Lillian L. Siu, MD

BMO Chair in Precision Genomics, Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For critical and innovative research dedicated to optimizing clinical trial design and execution resulting in accelerated discovery and development of tumor immunotherapies, and for extraordinary leadership in driving the advancement of novel and personalized therapeutics for patients with head and neck cancers as well as gastrointestinal malignancies.

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD

President and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

For seminal contributions to characterizing and targeting pancreas cancer metastasis, development of oncolytic adenoviruses capable of inhibiting pancreas tumor stem cells, and instrumental efforts to develop and evaluate the efficacy of minnelide, a synthetic prodrug of the diterpene triepoxide triptolide, as a pro-apoptotic chemotherapeutic for the treatment of pancreas and hepatocellular carcinoma.

E. John Wherry, PhD

Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor; Chair, Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics; Director, Penn Institute for Immunology and Immune Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For unparalleled research discoveries that have defined the genetic and epigenetic control mechanisms governing T-cell exhaustion, and for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying PDL-1 blockade, resulting in the clinical development of various immunotherapies, including several FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies for multiple cancer indications.

All newly elected Fellows of the AACR Academy will be formally recognized during the AACR Annual Meeting 2024 Opening Ceremony on Sunday, April 7, at 8 a.m. PT.