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Judy Garber, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a nongovernmental organization that advises the nation on issues related to biomedical science, medicine, and health.
Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
An internationally recognized leader in clinical and translational research on breast cancer, Garber is director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber and is one of the leaders of its Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. She developed one of the first cancer risk and prevention clinics, and has led studies of epidemiology, cancer surveillance, cancer genetics service delivery, and chemoprevention in hereditary cancers.
Garber is a professor at Harvard Medical School and associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research. She was appointed by President Obama to serve a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board.
The focus of Garber’s work is on identifying people with genetic factors that place them at an increased risk of developing cancer, and devising strategies to lower that risk. Focusing primarily on breast cancer, she and her colleagues are leading studies of the long-term psychosocial and medical effects of genetic testing. They are also studying new therapies that may be able to prevent cancer in people with a heightened genetic risk for certain forms of the disease.
In her recent research she is evaluating novel drugs designed to target DNA repair defects in triple-negative or basal-like breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women with germline BRCA1 mutations. She has also studied pediatric cancers and sarcomas in Li-Fraumeni syndrome and hereditary gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
The IOM announced 70 new members and 10 foreign associates during its 43rd annual meeting earlier this week. "It is an honor to welcome our highly distinguished colleagues to the Institute of Medicine," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "These individuals have inspired us through their achievements in research, teaching, clinical work, and other contributions to the medical field. Their knowledge and skills will deeply enrich the IOM."