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AACR Elects New Officers, Directors and Nominating Committee

April 6, 2010

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PHILADELPHIA — The members of the American Association for Cancer Research have elected Judy E. Garber, M.D., M.P.H., as their president-elect. Garber is the director of the Cancer Risk and Prevention Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and associate physician of medicine and attending physician of medical service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been elected AACR president,” said Garber. “We are in a period of extraordinary scientific progress in cancer research and exciting translation of that knowledge to benefit patients. I am excited to have an opportunity to work with the talented and committed AACR membership to sustain the momentum going forward, and to attract the most talented young minds to cancer research.”

Garber will officially become the president-elect on Monday, April 19, at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010, in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., the Morris Herzstein professor of biology and physiology in the Department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, will be sworn in as president of the AACR. Blackburn succeeds Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Koch professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Jacks served as AACR president for the 2009 to 2010 term and will now fulfill the role of past president.

Garber, Blackburn and Jacks will serve in these roles for one year.

Garber’s research has focused primarily on breast cancer risk assessment and risk reduction. A clinical translational researcher, Garber has led epidemiologic, cancer surveillance, cancer genetics service delivery and cancer risk reduction (chemoprevention) studies in hereditary cancers. She has focused particularly on breast and ovarian cancers, but has also studied pediatric cancers and sarcomas in Li-Fraumeni and hereditary gastrointestinal stromal tumors. More recently, she has led a series of therapeutic clinical trials as part of a translational group focusing on basal-like breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women with germline BRCA1 mutations.

Garber has served in many critical leadership roles with the AACR. She was a member of the Board of Directors (2007-2010) and is currently a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants Review Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, Special Conferences Committee, Grants Advisory Committee and the Susan Love/Avon Army of Women Scientific Advisory Committee. She was chairperson of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR Grants for Translational Breast Cancer Research Scientific Review Committee in 2008, and has served on several other grants committees and scientific award selection committees over the years. Garber has served on the Annual Meeting Program Committee as well as on the program and scientific review committees for many other meetings, including the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, AACR Scientific Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics and the JCA-AACR Special Joint Conference, “The Latest Advances in Breast Cancer Research.”

Garber is a senior editor of Cancer Prevention Research and a member of the editorial board for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. She has also served as a senior editor for Clinical Cancer Research. All three publications are journals of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Garber is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Research Award and the Tisch Family Outstanding Achievement Award, both from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and the Statesman Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Garber is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, a member of the scientific advisory board of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and was a member of the advisory board of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Garber earned her medical degree and her master’s degree in public health from Yale University School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Brockton-West Roxbury Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Treasurer:

William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and worldwide therapeutic area head of oncology of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Research & Development, L.L.C., will assume the role of AACR treasurer. He succeeds Bayard D. Clarkson, M.D., who served as treasurer since 1994.

At Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Research & Development, L.L.C., Hait is responsible for bringing science and medicine together with global world-class capabilities in research and drug discovery, biomarkers, translational medicine and clinical development expertise within cancer research. He leads a global team focused on combining internal and external innovative approaches to discover and develop new solutions for oncologic and hematologic diseases with high unmet medical need.

Hait joined Johnson & Johnson in 2007, after serving as the founding director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and as 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.

Hait, who was president of the AACR from 2007 to 2008, launched AACR’s Translational Cancer Medicine meeting series. He currently chairs the Stand Up To Cancer Management Committee and co-chairs the AACR-NCI-FDA Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative. Among his extensive AACR service, Hait has chaired or co-chaired numerous committees and conferences, including the Clinical and Translational Cancer Research Committee, the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research Committee, the Scientific Review Committee for the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics and the Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine: Cancer Clinical Trials and Personalized Medicine. Additionally, Hait has served as editor-in-chief, co-deputy editor and editorial board member of Clinical Cancer Research and as a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and Cancer Research, all journals of the AACR. Hait was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1993 and is a past recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Award in Clinical Pharmacology.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Hait received a medical degree and doctorate in pharmacology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania cum laude and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

New Board Members:

The following distinguished scientists were elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2010 to 2013 term: Todd R. Golub, M.D., Jennifer Rubin Grandis, M.D., Sir David P. Lane, Ph.D., Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., and Owen W. Witte, M.D.

Todd R. Golub, M.D., is founding director of the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Charles A. Dana Investigator and attending physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and associate scientific staff, at Children’s Hospital Boston, Mass.

Golub’s research focuses on the use of genomic data to inform cancer biology and facilitate personalized cancer medicine. His laboratory has pioneered the use of gene expression profiling for the classification of human cancers, and has recently established new approaches to small-molecule screening based on genomic signatures.

Golub has served the AACR in several capacities. He is a member of the editorial board for Molecular Cancer Research, and has previously served as co-chairperson of the special conference, “The Role of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer.” He has served as a member of the Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research Committee and as a member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Jennifer Rubin Grandis, M.D., is the vice chair for research and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research, in the department of otolaryngology; professor in the department of otolaryngology and pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and staff surgeon at Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Grandis’ work is focused on identifying key therapeutic targets in head and neck cancer and translating these findings into clinical trials, with the ultimate goal of implementing strategies to inhibit these targets in patients.

She has served the AACR in many roles. She was a co-organizer and faculty member for the educational workshop, “Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology” for several years, and co-chairperson for the special conference, “Advances and Challenges in Aerodigestive Epithelial Cancer: Genetics, Diagnosis and Therapy.” Grandis has served on the Special Conferences Committee, the Clinical Cancer Research Committee, multiple scientific award selection committees and the program or scientific review committees for several AACR meetings. She is a senior editor of Clinical Cancer Research and serves on the editorial board for Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the AACR.

Sir David P. Lane, Ph.D., is the chief scientist at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, and chief scientist at Cancer Research UK, London, England.

His research focuses on the molecular basis of cancer, and in particular the role of the p53 tumor suppressor gene and new isoforms of p53 in cancer and development. More recently, Lane’s research has been dedicated to finding ways of using the p53 system to develop new treatments for cancer.

Lane has been active in AACR meetings, having been a co-chairperson of the Special Conference, “Cell Cycle and Cancer: Pathways and Therapies,” a member of the Program Committee for the Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine: Technologies to Treatment and keynote speaker at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. He has also served as a member of the editorial boards for AACR journals Cancer Research and Cell Growth & Differentiation, and was a member of the Kirk A. Landon-AACR Prize for Basic Cancer Research Committee.

Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., is associate professor in the department of medical oncology/molecular and cellular oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Her research focuses on the molecular analysis of human breast cancer, and the characterization of gene expression and epigenetic changes that occur during breast tumor initiation and progression. Her goal is to use this information to improve the clinical management of breast cancer patients.

Polyak is active in many AACR programs. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee for the Clinical and Translational Research Committee, the Human Epigenome Task Force and the Steering Committee for the Tumor Microenvironment Working Group. She is a senior editor for Cancer Research and a member of the editorial board for Clinical Cancer Research. Polyak was co-chairperson of three Special Conferences on cancer genetics and epigenetics, and served on the program committees for several other AACR meetings and educational workshops.

Owen W. Witte, M.D., is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, the David Saxon Presidential Chair in Developmental Immunology, distinguished professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, and distinguished professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.

His research focuses on the development of the immune response and growth regulation of hematopoietic cells by the Bcr-Abl oncogene, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, and G protein coupled receptors. Witte is also interested in defining the stem cells for epithelial cancers of the prostate and other organ sites to help define new types of therapy for these diseases.

Witte has served the AACR in several capacities, and is presently a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants Review Committee. He was co-chairperson of the Special Conference, “Advances in Prostate Cancer Research,” and faculty for the educational workshop, “Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology.”

The AACR Nominating Committee:

The following renowned scientists have been elected to serve on the Nominating Committee for the 2010 to 2012 term: Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., and Carol L. Prives, Ph.D.

Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., is the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; and professor of medicine and pharmacology and chemical biology, a vice chancellor for cancer research, Hillman professor of oncology and chief of the division of hematology/oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa. She is also the adjunct professor of oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md. She was a member of the AACR Board of Directors (2002-2005).

Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., is the March of Dimes chair in molecular and developmental neurobiology and professor of the Gene Expression Laboratory at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, Calif., and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Evans also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and as an adjunct professor in the departments of neurosciences and biology at UCSD.

Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., is past president of the AACR (2005-2006); director of the University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center; and the H. Leslie Hoffman and Elaine S. Hoffman chair in cancer research and distinguished professor of urology, biochemistry and molecular biology, at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.

Carol L. Prives, Ph.D., is the Da Costa professor of biology in the department of biological sciences at Columbia University, New York, NY. She served on the AACR Board of Directors (2004-2007).

Download Photos of the AACR Officers for the 2010 – 2011 term:

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., President
Judy E. Garber, M.D., M.P.H.
, President-Elect
William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D.
, Treasurer
Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Past President
Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), Chief Executive Officer

# # #

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 30,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Michele Leiberman
(267) 646-0622
michele.leiberman@aacr.org

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