In This Section
David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD

David A. Tuveson, MD, PhD

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center
Cold Spring Harbor, New York

Class of 2020

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.

An expert in the field of pancreatic cancer research, Dr. Tuveson is recognized for his groundbreaking efforts dedicated to developing some of the first mouse models of human pancreatic cancer that are now commonly used in the field. His research has and continues to illustrate a firm commitment to understanding this malignancy and has contributed to the development of preclinical and clinical therapeutic strategies for the disease. As a clinical fellow, he demonstrated with Dr. George Demetri that imatinib is an inhibitor of the c-KIT oncoprotein and capable of providing clinical benefits to gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Tyler Jacks, he generated multiple Kras and P53 mutant mouse models that enabled the production of models of lung cancer progression. Notably, as an independent investigator, he continued the work that he had begun as a postdoctoral research fellow and became the first to generate a mouse model of ductal pancreas cancer.  

His laboratory is credited with identifying many of the barriers to successful pancreas cancer treatments, including poor drug delivery and the presence of survival factors in the microenvironment. In a landmark publication, Dr. Tuveson and colleagues used normal and neoplastic pancreas murine and human cells to generate organoids. These organoids were then grafted into mouse models and successfully recapitulated tumor progression from early onset to metastasis. In addition, these organoids helped define the signaling pathways and genetic perturbations that occur during tumor development and were predictive of drug responses. With the Lustgarten Foundation, Dr. Tuveson is conducting clinical trials to test organoid predictability in pancreatic cancer patients. More recently his group was amongst the first to identify fibroblast subtypes in pancreatic cancer and has expanded our understanding of signaling molecules in pancreas cancer such as the truncated glycan Sialyl-LewisA (CA19-9) and the KRAS oncoprotein.  

Selected Awards and Honors 

2022 ~ Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC 
2022 ~ Rao Lecture, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
2021 ~ Elected Member, Association of American Physicians, Belleville, Michigan 
2021 ~ David M. Rubenstein Award in Pancreatic Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
2021 ~ O’Grady Keynote Lecture, University of California, Davis, Davis, California
2020 ~ President-Elect, American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
2016 ~ Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Maktoum, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
2016 ~ Elected Member, American Society of Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
2014 ~ Jan Waldenstrom Medal, Swedish Society of Oncology, Stockholm, Sweden 
2012 ~ Ruth F. Brufsky Award for Excellence in Clinical Research on Pancreatic Cance, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
2004 ~ Frank Brooks Memorial Lectureship, American Pancreatic Association, Prairie Village, Kans 
2003 ~ Rita Allen Scholar, Rita Allen Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey 
2003 ~ AACR-PanCAN Career Development Award, American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
2000 ~ Forbeck Scholar Award, William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation, Carbondale, Colorado