An icon in cancer research, Dr. Clarkson has devoted his research to attempting to develop curative therapies for various types of cancer. For over 50 years his laboratory has been studying the cellular kinetics of growth and differentiation of normal, leukemic and other cancer stem and progenitor cells with the goal of developing improved forms of treatment. He is currently studying quiescent cancer stem cells and defective quorum sensing as important obstacles to curing cancer.
Quiescent cancer stem cells are resistant to most therapies and defective quorum sensing enables the transformed clones to revert to functioning as primitive semi-independent ecosystems in which the heterogeneous member clones are highly interdependent, and whose behavior is not simply dominated by the most aggressive clones. Rather the transformed clones may function as interactive aberrant cell societies which disregard conventional regulatory mechanisms responsible for limiting and maintaining normal homeostatic cell densities. Thus increasingly defective quorum sensing may permit both overexpansion and malignant progression of cancer cell populations.
2012 Distinguished Service Award, AACR
2001 Founder, President, AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer
1994-2010 Treasurer, AACR
1980-1981 President, AACR
1978-1981 Board of Directors, AACR
1980 Enid A. Haupt Chair of Therapeutic Research
1977 Associate Chairman for Research, Department of Medicine, Memorial Hospital
1976 Director, Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Training Program, Memorial Hospital
1975-1989 Chief, Hematology/Lymphoma Service, Memorial Hospital
1973 President, American Society of Clinical Oncology
1970 Chief, Hematology Service, Memorial Hospital
1968-1992 Trustee, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
1958 Lasker Fellowship, Clinical Chemotherapy, Memorial Hospital
1952 MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons