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AACR Selects Barbara J. Wold, PhD, for the 2020 AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship

The AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2004 to acknowledge an individual whose outstanding scientific innovation and thought leadership has inspired creative thinking and new directions in cancer research. The recipient of this award is selected annually by the AACR President. Wold was chosen by Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, FAACR, AACR President for the 2019-2020 term.

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has awarded the 2020 AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship to Barbara J. Wold, PhD.

“I am so pleased to recognize the foundational work of Dr. Barbara J. Wold in her development of RNAseq methodology and analytics, which has transformed many aspects of biomedical science and cancer research,” said Mardis. “Her contributions have been substantial and truly are in accord with the principles that inspired the AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship.”

Wold has made extraordinary and pioneering contributions to the use of deep next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques to study RNA expression in mice. Wold was among the first to use deep NGS profiling, noting the expression of both known and not-yet-annotated genes and splice isoforms. Her work has been pivotal in defining bioinformatic methods to analyze RNAseq data, providing information on the transcriptome and regulatory element networks that drive cell state transitions in the development and differentiation of individual cells. Her current work focuses on the genomics of human disease states including cancer. Additionally, throughout her career, Wold has served as a leading voice for the importance of developing clear standards and guidelines for establishing reproducibility in data analysis.

Wold was recently appointed as the director of the Merkin Institute for Translational Research at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. She is also the Bren Professor of Molecular Biology and the principal investigator of the Functional Genomics Resource Center at the Beckman Institute at Caltech. Wold was previously the Beckman Institute director from 2001 to 2011.

Wold helped found the L. K. Whittier Gene Expression Center and the Special Center for Biological Circuit Design at Caltech. In 2012, she founded the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Genomics. Wold received her undergraduate degree in zoology from Arizona State University and earned her doctorate in molecular development biology from Caltech. Wold received the School of Life Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award from Arizona State University in 2014 and the Searle Scholars Program Award in 1983.