Scientific Advisory Committee — Biographies
A world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry, Dr. Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, KY in 1966, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969. He did his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular biology of plasmids, and then studied gene expression in human cells at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under James Watson. Much of Dr. Sharp’s scientific work has been conducted at MIT’s Center for Cancer Research, which he joined in 1974.
Dr. Sharp’s research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. The discovery that genes contain nonsense segments that are edited out by cells in the course of utilizing genetic information is important in understanding the genetic causes of cancer and other diseases. For this work he received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His lab has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). These newly discovered processes have revolutionized cell biology and could potentially generate a new class of therapeutics.
Dr. Sharp has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, and has served on many advisory boards for the government, academic institutions, scientific societies, and companies. In addition to the Nobel Prize, his awards include the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science for Biological Sciences and the inaugural Double Helix Medal from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
Dr. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now Biogen Idec), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage therapeutics company and Magen Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology company developing agents to promote the health of human skin.
Dr. Levine’s research focuses on the causes of cancer. In 1979, he and others discovered the p53 tumor suppressor protein, a molecule that inhibits tumor development. At the Institute for Advanced Study, he established the Simons Center for Systems Biology, which concentrates on research at the interface of molecular biology and the physical sciences — on genetics and genomics, polymorphisms and molecular aspects of evolution, signal transduction pathways and networks, stress responses, and pharmacogenomics in cancer biology.
In 2001, Dr. Levine was named the first recipient of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for his discovery of a gene that normally protects against cancer but fails when a tiny change occurs in the gene. He was awarded two medals in 2000 for Outstanding Contributions to Biomedical Research by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Keio Medical Science Prize from Keio University Medical Science Fund. He was awarded the Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research in 2008, the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2009, the Steven C. Beering Award for Advancement of Biomedical Science in 2010, and most recently, the 2012 Vallee Foundation Visiting Professorship, Harvard Medical School. As chair of the National Institutes of Health Commission on AIDS Research and the National Academies Cancer Policy Board, Dr. Levine has helped determine national research priorities.
William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., is the Marion I. Knott Director and Professor of Oncology and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He earned his medical degree and Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He went on to pursue Internal Medicine residency training and Medical Oncology fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a Professor of Oncology, Urology, Pharmacology, Medicine, Pathology, and Radiation Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a Joint Appointment in Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Nelson directs a translational research laboratory focused on discovering new strategies for prostate cancer treatment and prevention, and manages a clinical practice focused on developing these new treatment and prevention approaches in early “proof-of-principle” prostate clinical trials.
Dr. Nelson is a recognized leader in translational cancer research. He is one of three Co-Chairs of the National Cancer Institute Translational Research Working Group, which reported its findings to the National Cancer Advisory Board in June of 2007. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several companies focused on the development of new technologies and treatments for human cancer and is the President of the National Coalition for Cancer Research. He has served as a member of the American Association of Cancer Research’s Board of Directors, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Dr. Julian Adams is the president of research and development of Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Adams received a bachelor of science degree from McGill University and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. Prior to joining Infinity, Dr. Adams was the senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. In this capacity, he had global responsibility for multiple drug discovery programs, including the successful discovery and development of VELCADE®, a proteasome inhibitor for cancer therapy. Earlier in his career, Dr. Adams served in various positions at LeukoSite, ProScript Inc., and Boehringer Ingelheim, where he successfully discovered the drug Viramune® for HIV.
Dr. Adams is an inventor of more than 40 patents and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals, and is the editor of Proteasome Inhibition in Cancer Therapy. He has received many awards, including the 2001 Ribbon of Hope Award for VELCADE® from the International Myeloma Foundation and the AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award.
Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn is the Morris Herzstein Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco and a non-resident fellow of the Salk Institute. Dr. Blackburn earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science at the University of Melbourne and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England. She went on to do her postdoctoral study in molecular and cellular biology at Yale University, and in 1978 joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Molecular Biology. In 1990, she moved to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she served as Department Chair from 1993 to 1999.
For more than a quarter century, Dr. Blackburn has been investigating the structure and role of telomeres. More recently, she has been applying her insights into telomere biology to the development of a new anti-cancer therapy that forces cells with active telomerase to make errors during telomere synthesis, effectively triggering cellular suicide.
Throughout her career, Dr. Blackburn has received many prestigious awards, including the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the Eli Lilly Research Award for Microbiology and Immunology, the National Academy of Science Award in Molecular Biology, the Australia Prize, the Harvey Prize, the Keio Prize, the Lasker Award, AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award, American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, AACR-Pezcoller Foundation International Award for Cancer Research, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Alfred P. Sloan Award, E.B.Wil son Award of the American Society for Cell Biology, 26th Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, and the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine. She was named California Scientist of the Year in 1999, served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology, and was elected to the American Association for Cancer Research’s Board of Directors in 2006. Dr. Blackburn is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine.
Richard B. Gaynor, M.D., joined Eli Lilly and Company as vice president for cancer research and clinical investigation in August 2002. Currently, Dr. Gaynor is vice president, clinical development and medical affairs at Lilly.
Gaynor received a doctor of medicine degree from the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He served his internship and residency in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine and then served on the faculty there. He received board certification in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
Prior to joining Lilly, Gaynor was a professor of medicine and microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in Dallas and held several important leadership positions. He was chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UTSW and director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center there in addition to his work as the Lisa K. Simmons distinguished chair in comprehensive oncology. He served on numerous NIH advisory committees and was elected to both the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.
Gaynor is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and has an extensive publication record totaling more than 140 scientific articles. He serves on the board of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and the Walther Cancer Institute and on several committees for the American Association of Cancer Research and other leading cancer organizations.
Dr. Bill Hait is global head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, the global research and development arm of Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he leads the global R&D group in its mission to discover and develop innovative new medicines to address the world’s most serious unmet medical needs.
Dr. Hait joined Johnson & Johnson in 2007 as senior vice president, worldwide head of hematology and oncology, Ortho Biotech Oncology R&D, and assumed the role of global therapeutic area head, oncology, in 2009.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was the founding director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and professor of medicine and pharmacology and associate dean for oncology programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from January 1993 to March 2007. Under Dr. Hait’s leadership, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey was successful in obtaining cancer center designation from the National Cancer Institute in 1996 and received the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2002.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Hait received his medical degree and doctorate (pharmacology) cum laude from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He joined the Yale University School of Medicine faculty in 1984 and was quickly promoted to associate professor of medicine and pharmacology. Dr. Hait served as associate director of the Yale University Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Breast Cancer Unit and co-director of the Lung Cancer Unit at the Yale University School of Medicine. He was appointed chief of medical oncology at the Yale University School of Medicine in 1988. Dr. Hait is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Dr. Hait is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of both the New Jersey Breast Cancer Coalition and Susan G. Komen Foundation and is an active member on Scientific Advisory Boards of several universities. He served on various committees for the American Association for Cancer Research (chair, Clinical Cancer Research Committee), American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Association of American Cancer Institutes (Board of Directors), and the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors. Dr. Hait served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research from 2007 – 2008, and is currently serving as treasurer.
Dr. Amon obtained her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Vienna in 1989. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1993 for her studies on chromosome segregation in Dr. Kim Nasmyth’s laboratory. Dr. Amon joined the laboratory of Dr. Ruth Lehmann at the Whitehead Institute as Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow where she studied how germ cells are formed. In 1996, Dr. Amon accepted a position as a Whitehead fellow. In 1999, she joined the faculty of the department of biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Amon was awarded tenure in 2004 and promoted to full professor in 2007.
Dr. Amon studies the molecular mechanisms that govern chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis and the consequences – aneuploidy – when these fail. Her laboratory deciphered how the protein phosphatase Cdc14 triggers the final stages of mitosis. Her studies on the regulation of Cdc14 serve as a paradigm for how the activity of a protein is regulated by its changes in subcellular localization. In her work on the meiotic divisions, Dr. Amon made significant contributions toward understanding how regulators of the mitotic cell cycle are employed during meiosis to bring about the specialized meiotic cell cycle program. Her most recent work on the effects of aneuploidy on cellular physiology is changing the way we think about the role of this condition in cancer development. Her results show that aneuploidy leads to changes in the cell’s proteome that elicit an aneuploidy stress response. This stress response needs to be overcome during tumor evolution and could be exploited for new tumor therapies.
In recognition of her contributions, Dr. Amon was awarded many prizes. In 1999, she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2000, she was selected to become an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2003, she was awarded the Alan T. Waterman award. This award is the National Science Foundation’s highest award for young researchers in any field of science or engineering. In the same year she also won the Eli Lilly and Company Research Award. The Eli Lilly Award is the American Society for Microbiology’s oldest and most prestigious prize for young researchers. Dr. Amon is also the recipient of the 2007 Paul Marks prize for cancer research. In 2008, Dr. Amon received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the highest award the Academy awards to young researchers in the biological sciences. In 2010, Dr. Amon was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Kenneth C. Anderson, M.D.
Kraft Family Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director, Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dr. Anderson is the Kraft Family professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Doris Duke distinguished clinical research scientist and American Cancer Society clinical research professor. After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School, he trained in internal medicine at John’s Hopkins Hospital, and then completed hematology, medical oncology and tumor immunology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over the last three decades, he has focused his laboratory and clinical research studies on multiple myeloma. He has developed laboratory and animal models of the tumor in it is microenvironment which have allowed for both identification of novel targets and validation of novel targeted therapies, and has then rapidly translated these studies to clinical trials culminating in FDA approval of novel targeted therapies. His paradigm for identifying and validating targets in the tumor cell and its milieu has transformed myeloma therapy and markedly improved patient outcome.
Dr. Anderson received the Waldenstrom’s Award from the International Myeloma Workshop in 2003, the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Myeloma Foundation in 2005, the Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Clinical Research from the American Association for Cancer Research in 2007, and the William Dameshek Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Hematology from the American Society of Hematology in 2008. He was elected into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2009, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010, and the Royal College of Physicians and of Pathologists (UK) in 2010. In 2011, he received the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Frederick R. Appelbaum, M.D.
Director, Clinical Research Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Head, Division of Oncology
University of Washington School of Medicine
President, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Dr. Frederick R. Appelbaum is director, Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, head, Division of Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and president, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Appelbaum graduated from Dartmouth College and Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed internal medicine training at the University of Michigan and medical oncology fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute. He remained at the National Cancer Institute as an investigator until 1978, when he moved to Seattle to join the faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.
Dr. Appelbaum’s research focuses on the biology and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, with a particular emphasis on hematopoietic cell transplantation. He was the lead author of the first paper describing the successful use of autologous marrow transplantation.
Dr. Appelbaum is a past chair of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He has been a board member of a number of scientific societies, including the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum and serves on the NCI Steering Committees for both pediatric and adult leukemia. He heads the Clinical Transplant Research Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and chairs the Leukemia Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group.
Dr. Waun Ki Hong is the Head of the Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hong received his bachelor of science and medical degree at the Yon Sei University College of Engineering Science in Seoul, Korea. He went on to do his residency at the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center and became a Medical Oncology Fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He joined M. D. Anderson in 1984 as chief of the Section of Head and Neck Medical Oncology, and became chair of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology in 1993.
Dr. Hong’s research interest includes retinoids, genetic predisposition to disease, biological markers, and chemoprevention, particularly the area of translational aerodigestive cancer research. His major research focus is working to identify and develop effective novel personalized molecularly targeted preventive and therapeutic approaches in patients with aerodigestive cancers and/or identify high risk individuals to reduce incidence and mortality through an integrated translational research team effort.
Dr. Hong was recently appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board. In 1996, he became the first M. D. Anderson physician to receive an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship, a lifetime honor presented in recognition of his distinguished career. In 2001-2002, he served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research. His many honors for outstanding achievements in clinical research and patient care include: the AACR’s Joseph H. Burchenal and the Rosenthal Foundation Awards; and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s most prestigious award, the David A. Karnofsky Award.
Dr. William G. Kaelin, Jr., is a Professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. He received his medical degree from Duke University in 1982 and was a house officer in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He went on to become a medical oncology clinical fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. David Livingston, where he began his studies of tumor suppressor proteins. He became an independent investigator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1992 as a James S. McDonnell Scholar and became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in 1998. Dr. Kaelin is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Senior Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Director for Basic Research at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Dr. Kaelin’s research interests have focused on tumor suppressor genes and the normal functions of the proteins they encode. The long-term goal of his work is to lay the foundation for the development of new anticancer therapies based on the functions of specific tumor suppressor proteins. His studies of tumor suppressor genes linked to hereditary forms of cancer have uncovered molecular pathways that are important in non-hereditary cancers and have accelerated the development of new treatments for kidney cancer.
Dr. Kaelin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and has served on numerous boards and committees, including the American Association for Cancer Research’s Board of Directors and the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors. He has received many awards for his work, including the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Prize for Cancer Research and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.
Richard D. Kolodner, Ph.D., is a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego Branch, where he is head of the Laboratory of Cancer Genetics. He is also a professor in the departments of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and is a member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center’s Cancer Genetics Program and the UCSD Institute of Genome Medicine. Dr. Kolodner also serves as head of academic affairs for the worldwide operations of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Irvine. He went on to become a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. From 1978 to 1997, he was an assistant, associate and full professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the department of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Kolodner’s seminal work in DNA recombination and repair, and his fundamentally important discoveries about DNA mismatch repair and the pathways that prevent genome instability over the last several decades have proved to be central to understanding the genetics of cancer susceptibility. Because of these contributions, he has received numerous honors and awards including the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Kirk A. Landon-AACR Award for Basic Cancer Research and election to the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Tak W. Mak is the Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He received a bachelor’s of science in biochemistry in 1967 and a master of science in biophysics in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta in 1971. He is also senior scientist in the division of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute. Since 1984, he has been a Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Mak co-discovered the t-cell receptor, a key component of the immune system. His research is concentrated on gaining fundamental knowledge of the biology of cells in normal and disease settings, and in particular on the mechanisms underlying immune responses and tumorigenesis. His lab has initiated several complementary programs, many of which have evolved from the production and analysis of genetically engineered mouse strains.
Dr. Mak has received several awards and honors for his work. He is a member of the Order of Ontario and was elected as a foreign associate to the National Academy of Sciences in the discipline of immunology in 2002. Dr. Mak has received the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Paul Ehrlich Prize, the Novartis Prize in Immunology, the Killam Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Foundation, and the Robert L. Noble Prize by the National Cancer Institute of Canada.
Dr. Cecil B. Pickett is the President of Research and Development at Biogen Idec. Dr. Pickett earned his B.S. in biology from California State University at Hayward and his Ph.D. in cell biology from University of California, Los Angeles. He previously served as Senior Vice President and President of Schering-Plough Research Institute, the pharmaceutical research arm of Schering-Plough Corporation. Dr. Pickett came to Schering-Plough Research Institute from Merck Research Laboratories, Montreal, Canada, and West Point, Pa., where he served as Senior Vice President of Basic Research. During his 15-years at Merck & Co., Dr. Pickett held various positions of increasing responsibility, including research fellow, biochemical regulation; associate director, department of molecular pharmacology and biochemistry; director, department of molecular pharmacology and biochemistry; executive director of research at the Merck Frosst Center for Therapeutic Research, Montreal; and vice president of the Center.
Dr. Pickett is an expert in drug development. During his career he has overseen all aspects of the internal research and collaboration with partners aimed at developing, manufacturing, and marketing advanced drug therapies and has played an integral role in bringing several large and small molecule candidates into clinical development.
Dr. Pickett has published extensively in leading research journals and has been a frequent speaker at scientific symposia and conferences. He has received several major academic awards, appointments and fellowships and serves on a number of scientific committees and editorial boards of medical journals and research organizations. His awards and honors include the UCLA Alumni Association Award for Scholarly Achievement and Academic Distinction; the first Robert A. Scala Award and Lectureship in Toxicology of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and the CIIT Centers for Health Research Founders’ Award. Dr. Pickett served as a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Science Board, the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and The National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993 and is also a member of The American Society for Cell Biology, American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Laura Shawver is President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Synthorx, Inc., focusing on technology to create improved protein therapeutic candidates, demonstrating patient benefits and moving into breakthrough treatments. She received her doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Iowa in 1984 and did postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia Cancer Center and the department of hematology and oncology at Washington University. Before joining Synthorx, Shawver was CEO of Cleave Biosciences focused on development of drugs against novel targets in protein homeostasis for difficult to treat cancers; CEO of Phenomix Corporation; and previously, President of SUGEN Inc. which focused on kinases and their function in cancer growth and survival. Her work in understanding the role of VEGF receptor in tumor angiogenesis led to the development of a new class of drugs including SutentTM currently marketed by Pfizer for kidney and stomach cancer. Prior to her employment at SUGEN Inc., Dr. Shawver was employed at Berlex Biosciences (formerly Triton Biosciences). Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006, she founded the non-profit organization, The Clearity Foundation which provides access to molecular profiling for women with recurrent and refractory disease to help prioritize treatment options. Dr. Shawver is an active member in the American Association for Cancer Research currently serving on the Science Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D., is chairperson and founder of Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), a cancer research think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC.
Friends is a leader in developing partnerships and advocating policies that will get treatments and therapies to patients in the safest and quickest way possible. Friends works with federal health agencies, Congressional leadership, academic research centers and private sector industry producing real results.
Dr. Sigal is vice chair of the inaugural board of directors of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, a partnership designed to modernize medical product development, accelerate innovation and enhance product safety in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She serves on the Board of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health where she chairs its Public/Private Partnerships Committee.
In 2010, Dr. Sigal was appointed to a six-year term on the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a representative of patients and health consumers. PCORI is an independent organization created by Congress to initiate research that will help patients, physicians and caregivers make informed health care decisions and improve health care delivery.
She also holds leadership positions with a broad range of cancer advocacy, public policy organizations and academic health centers including: the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation Board; Research!America Board; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center External Advisory Board, the Duke University Cancer Center Board of Overseers and The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Council.
Lee J. Helman received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine magna cum laude in 1980 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital Washington University also serving as chief resident.
Dr. Helman began his fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1983, where he has remained. He did his postdoctoral training in the Molecular Genetics Section, Pediatric Branch, NCI, and became head of the Molecular Oncology Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, NCI, in 1993. He became chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch from 1997-2007, and in 2007 became scientific director for clinical research in the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, a position he currently holds.
Dr. Helman is a professor of pediatrics and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians and is a founding member and past president of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society. He serves on the Board of Directors of and is a clinical advisor to The Children’s Inn at NIH and is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Clinical Center at NIH. Dr. Helman is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and a past chair for its Bylaws Committee. He received the 2011 ASCO Pediatric Oncology Award and the ASCO Statesman Award. He has served on the Science Education, Publications, and Clinical and Translational Research committees of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and is chair of its Pediatric Oncology Task Force and has been on the Scientific Program Committee for several of its annual meetings. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Stand Up To Cancer, a scientific partner to the AACR. He is on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Helman served as an associate editor for the journal Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research and currently is on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Helman’s laboratory currently focuses on three major themes related to the biology and treatment of pediatric sarcomas, specifically Ewing’s sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma: (1) determine the pathophysiologic consequences of IGF signaling; (2) identify the molecular/biochemical determinants of the biology of these sarcomas; and (3) apply preclinical laboratory findings to develop novel clinical studies for these sarcomas.
Carl H. June, M.D.
Director Translational Research Program
Abramson Cancer Center
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Carl June is currently director of translational research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, from 1978-79, and postdoctoral training in transplantation biology with Dr. E. Donnell Thomas and Dr. John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 - 1986. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He founded the Immune Cell Biology Program and was head of the department of immunology at the Naval Medical Research Institute from 1990 to 1995. He rose to professor in the departments of medicine and cell and molecular biology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, before assuming his current position as a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy.
Dr. June’s research interests have focused on lymphocyte biology, with a major translational focus on ex vivo T cell engineering for cancer and HIV cell based therapies. His current research involves applying principles of the cellular immune system to develop novel therapies for cancer and chronic infection. His laboratory has been dedicated to develop new forms of T cell based therapies for nearly two decades. His studies discovered several principles of lymphocyte costimulation. Using these basic findings, the laboratory developed a cell culture system that was tested for the first-in-human evaluation of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) using T cells modified with gamma retroviruses and for immune regeneration in AIDs patients. His team conducted the first clinical evaluations of lentiviruses and zinc finger nucleases as tools to modify T cells, initially in HIV and then in cancer patients with advanced leukemia.
Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., is the executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute. He earned medical and doctoral degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine and did his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins. He was a professor of oncology, pediatrics and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins prior to becoming chair of the hematology-oncology department and later cancer center director at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, before moving to Duke earlier this year. He is a pediatric oncologist and a cancer biologist; his laboratory research concentrates on DNA damage and repair, tumor suppressor genes, and causes of cancer related to genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. His discoveries have made a major impact on our understanding of both how cancers develop and how they respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and his publications reporting the role of p53 and ATM in DNA damage signaling are among the most highly cited publications in the biomedical literature of the past two decades. He has received numerous honors for his highly cited work, including election to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and receiving the 47th annual AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to basic cancer research. He has served as chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Cancer Research and editor of the textbook Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano is professor and chair of the department of genetics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in biology and mathematics from the University of Texas Pan American and her doctorate in biochemistry from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. After a short postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, she became a faculty member at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she has risen through the ranks.
Dr. Lozano directs a research laboratory that studies the p53 tumor suppressor pathway. Her contributions include the identification of the tumor suppressor p53 as a transcriptional activator, and the finding that p53 missense mutations commonly observed in cancers were transcriptionally inactive. Using animal models, she has characterized the physiological importance of Mdm2 and Mdm4 proteins as critical inhibitors of p53 and the significance of various p53 mutations on tumorigenesis in vivo.
Dr. Lozano was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was honored with the Mattie Allen Fair Research Chair in 2004 from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2011, she received the Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship from the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Lozano is also the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both her undergraduate and graduate alma maters.
Thomas J. Lynch Jr., M.D.
Director, Yale Cancer Center
Physician-in-Chief Smillow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital
Richard and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Internal Medicine
New Haven, CT
Dr. Lynch is the director of the Yale Cancer Center and the physician-in-chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. He has focused his career on the care and treatment of patients with lung cancer and on bringing novel translational therapies to the clinic to treat lung cancer. Prior to April 2009 he was the chief of hematology-oncology at MGH and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree in 1986 from Yale University and completed his internship and residency at MGH in 1989. Dr. Lynch served as a fellow in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from 1989-1991 and joined the staff at MGH in 1993. His academic interest focuses on using novel agents in advanced lung cancer. Recently his work has focused on agents directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor and the potential role that EGFR mutations play in lung cancer biology. Dr. Lynch is a founding board member of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center- a foundation devoted to promoting compassionate health care.
Nancy Roach founded Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) in 2005, nine years after her mother-in-law was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Recognizing the need for an advocacy organization, she established Fight CRC to provide focus, infrastructure and support for colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers and those touched by the disease. Since then, Ms. Roach has played a vital role in championing the need for a cure for colon and rectal cancer, through screening, awareness and research. Her efforts as an advocate have supported education and support for patients as well as the research community. Her leadership and passion has fostered a community of advocates supporting state and federal policies that have led to increased colorectal cancer research opportunities across the country. Over the last four years, Fight Colorectal Cancer has directed more than $250,000 in research funding to young investigators.
Ms. Roach currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors and serves on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Counselors and the Clinical Trial and Translational Research Advisory Committee. She is on the Executive Committee on the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, an FDA-Duke public-private partnership, and is a past chair of its finance committee. She has been involved with cooperative groups and SPORES, and currently serves on the NCI Colon Task force. She served on the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Integration Panel in 2010, the first year the colorectal cancer research was funded by the program. She is a past chair of the NCI Patient Advocate Steering Committee, and received the NCI Director’s Service Award when she stepped down. She has also received the Preventing Colorectal Cancer Champion Award and the Colon Cancer Alliance Sapphire Visionary Award in recognition of her efforts on behalf of patients. She has spoken on behalf of patients at meetings such as the American Association for Cancer Research, the Friends of Cancer Research/Brookings Institute Conference on Clinical Research, and the Oxford University-Duke University-McMaster University Sensible Guidelines for Clinical Trials.
David Tuveson is professor and deputy director of the cancer center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Tuveson obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at M.I.T. and medical and doctoral degrees at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Tuveson was a medical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a medical oncology fellow at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care. During his postdoctoral years in Boston, Dr. Tuveson co-developed KIT inhibitors for gastrointestinal stromal tumors with George Demetri, and created several Kras dependent mouse cancer models with Tyler Jacks. His lab generated the first mouse models of ductal pancreatic cancer at the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently moved to the University of Cambridge to develop preclinical and clinical therapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer. In Cambridge, his lab identified a variety of parameters that limit therapeutic efficacy in pancreatic cancer, including poor drug delivery and survival factors in the microenvironment. These findings are currently undergoing clinical evaluation. Dr. Tuveson was recruited back to the USA to direct the Cancer Therapeutics Initiative at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and to serve as director of research for the Lustgarten Foundation. He will continue to practice medical oncology with an adjunct appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His honors include an award from the Rita Allen Foundation.