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Lisa M. Coussens, PhD, FAACR, Elected as American Association for Cancer Research President-Elect for 2021-2022

Five new members elected to the Board of Directors  

PHILADELPHIA — The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected Lisa M. Coussens, PhD, FAACR, as their President-Elect for 2021–2022. She will officially become President-Elect on April 12, 2021, during the AACR’s Business Meeting of Members and will assume the Presidency in April 2022 at the next AACR Annual Meeting.

Coussens is the associate director for Basic Research at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, where she is a professor and the chair of the Cell, Developmental, and Cancer Biology Department as well as the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science. An internationally renowned cancer biologist, Coussens has made seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of the functions of innate immune cells in fostering neoplastic progression while also suppressing T-cell functionality. Her research has also defined the importance of chronic inflammation in cancer, thus identifying therapeutic targets for intervention and providing the basis for several clinical trials evaluating myeloid cell modulation in combination with chemotherapy.

As AACR President-Elect, Coussens will work with the Board of Directors and the AACR membership, which includes more than 48,000 members in 127 countries, to further the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research.

“Being elected to serve the AACR community is a tremendous honor,” said Coussens. “I look forward to leveraging the stage provided by the AACR to bolster the basic, translational, and clinical cancer communities in our missions to further discoveries into the underpinnings of cancer, explore novel druggable targets, as well as uncover the rich genetic variation in diverse populations that predispose and protect from cancer.”

“Dr. Coussens is an extraordinary scientist whose pioneering research on the tumor microenvironment and chronic inflammation has had an incredible impact on the understanding and treatment of many different types of cancer,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “The AACR will benefit greatly from her wide scientific knowledge, proven track record as a leader and mentor to her colleagues, and commitment to the AACR’s mission. We are thrilled that she has been elected to serve as the AACR’s 2021-22 President-Elect and 2022-23 President.”

Coussens, an AACR member since 2001, previously served as a member of the AACR’s Board of Directors from 2008-2011. She has also served on numerous committees in the AACR, including as co-organizer for the AACR Special Conference: Carcinoma in Situ (2022); chair of the AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research Scientific Review Committee (2020-2021), and as a member of the committee (2016-2018); course codirector for the AACR Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists Workshop (2020); cochair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee (2008, 2010, 2012, 2018-2019), and as a member of the committee (2003, 2006); Satellite Educational Symposia Committee member (2018-2019); member of the AACR Special Conferences Committee (2007-2010, 2016-2019); Nominating Committee member (2016-2018); search committee member for Editor-in-Chief of the AACR journal Cancer Research (2017); steering committee member for the AACR Cancer Progress Report (2016); Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants Committee member (2015-2016); member of the Annual Meeting Education Committee (2009, 2015-2016); selection committee member for the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research (2009-2010, 2014-2015); member of the AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship Award Committee (2014); member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grants Scientific Review Committee (2014); council member for the Women in Cancer Research Council (2010-2012); and selection committee member for the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research (2010). Coussens has served as a scientific editor for the AACR journal Cancer Discovery since 2017, and asa senior editor of the AACR journal Cancer Immunology Research since 2012. She has also served in several positions on the editorial board of the AACR journal Cancer Research from 2003-2012, including associate, senior, and deputy editor.

Coussens was elected to the 2019 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy. She has been recognized by the AACR with the AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship (2018); the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship (2012); and the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award (2002).

She has received a host of other honors and awards throughout her career, including serving as a Komen Scholar (2020-2023); TEFAF Oncology Chair (2019-2020); the Frank W. and Shirley D. Fitch Lectureship in Tumor Immunology (2019); the Edward J. Sarcione Excellence in Immunology Lecture (2019); the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science (2018); the European Academy of Tumor Immunology Career Award (2018); the Distinguished Women In Science Lecture (2017); the Rosalind E. Franklin Award for Women in Science and Medicine (2015); the American Cancer Society/SSO Basic Science Lectureship (2013); the inaugural Mildred Scheel Lectureship (2012); the Komen Promise Award (2011-2016); the Era of Hope Scholar Award (2006-2016); the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Award for Medical Research (2000-2003); the Hellman Family Award for Early Career Faculty (2000-2002); and the V Scholar Award (2000-2001). She currently serves as a member of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee for the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute’s Division of Extramural Activities; as a scientific review board member for the V Foundation for Cancer Research; and as a scientific review board advisory committee member for the Cancer Research Institute. Coussens received a Doctor in Medicine (honoris causa) from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017 and was elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2018.

Coussens received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1993. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco from 1993 to 1997.

Newly elected members of the AACR Board of Directors

The AACR Board of Directors consists of world-renowned leaders in the field of cancer research. The following five distinguished cancer researchers have been elected to the Board of Directors for the 2021–2024 term:

Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Ward Coleman Chair in Cancer Research and professor of medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology; director, Immunotherapy Program; and medical director, Vaccine and Cell Therapy Core Facility, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.

Luis Alberto Diaz Jr., MD, head, Division of Solid Tumor Oncology; Grayer Family Chair in Medicine; director, Precision Intervention and Prevention Program; and member, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College; attending physician, Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, New York.

Susan M. Galbraith, MBBChir, PhD, MRCP, FRCR, FMedSci, senior vice president and head of Early Oncology, Oncology Research and Development; senior vice president of IMED Oncology, AstraZeneca, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD, president, director, and Raisbeck Endowed Chair, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle.

Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCO, FSSO, director, Interdisciplinary Breast Program; chief, Division of Breast Surgery; medical director, International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes; staff surgeon, Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital Network, New York; adjunct professor, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; adjunct faculty, Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit.