The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has chosen Bruce E. Johnson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to lead the prestigious cancer organization as its president in 2017.
Johnson, a noted lung cancer physician and scientist and Dana-Farber’s Chief Clinical Research Officer, will take office as president-elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June 2016. His one-year presidential term will begin in June 2017, and his service will continue through 2018 as past president.
“ASCO is the leading organization of oncology professionals in the world and I am honored and proud to serve as its volunteer leader,” Johnson said. “I consider it a fulfillment of my most significant professional and academic career goals.”
“This is a great honor,” said Dana-Farber President and CEO Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD. “The presidency of ASCO is a prominent, public-facing position in the world of cancer care, research, policy, and advocacy. He will be a significant national figure in the field.”
ASCO’s network comprises nearly 40,000 oncology professionals, about one-third of them in 120 countries outside the United States. It is dedicated to providing the highest-quality resources in education, policy, clinical research, and in advancing care for patients with cancer. The results of clinical trials presented at its annual meeting are a benchmark of year-to-year progress in the fight
against cancer. ASCO’s flagship publication, the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), is an authoritative resource for cancer research findings.
Johnson’s priorities include anticipating and responding to evolving heath care policies, using “big data” to guide treatment of patients, and helping ASCO members adapt to changing professional and financial aspects of oncology practice.
As President Johnson will be a public spokesman for ASCO and its members as it addresses issues such as patients’ access to the most advanced treatments, physician reimbursement, and support for research funding. He’ll also have influence in how ASCO’s education and scientific committees keep members informed about new developments.
Johnson is also Institute Physician at Dana-Farber and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He leads the Lung Cancer Program of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC).
Johnson became an ASCO member in 1986 and has served in several leadership roles and is currently a member of the organization’s Bylaws Committee. He previously served on the ASCO Board of Directors and on the JCO Editorial Board. He has chaired the Audit, Cancer Education, and Cancer Communications committees. In 2008 he was awarded the Translational Research Professorship from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO.
Johnson was awarded the 2009 IASLC Scientific Award from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, was one of the Leaders of the AACR Team Science Award given to the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Thoracic Oncology Research Team in 2010, was selected as a Fellow of ASCO in 2012, and elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2015.
Johnson received his MD from the University of Minnesota in 1979 and his postgraduate training at the University of Chicago and the National Cancer Institute. After serving at NCI, where he most recently headed the Lung Cancer Biology Section, he joined DFCI in 1999.
He will be the fifth Dana-Farber physician to serve as president since ASCO was founded in 1964. The previous four were Emil Frei, MD, 1968-69; George P. Canellos, MD, 1993-94; Karen H. Antman, MD, 1994-95; and Robert Mayer, MD, 1997-98.
“I am proud to join the distinguished ranks of Dana-Farber physicians who have served as leaders of ASCO,” Johnson said.