Seven Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Scientific Leaders elected as Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy Class of 2024

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Benjamin L. Ebert, MD, PhD; Richard D. Gelber, PhD; Todd R. Golub, MD; Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD; Matthew L. Meyerson, MD, PhD; David Pellman, MD; and Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD, have been elected as Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy Class of 2024. The mission of the AACR Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. Fellows of the AACR Academy serve as a global brain trust of top contributors to cancer science and medicine who help advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research.

"We are very proud to announce the election of 30 new Fellows of the AACR Academy this year. These scientific pioneers from around the globe have fundamentally shaped cancer research through their respective scientific accomplishments," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The 2024 class of Fellows includes leaders from many scientific disciplines and areas of study who have collectively contributed to the improvement of the understanding and treatment of cancer. We are thrilled and honored to have them join our 312 existing Fellows and look forward to celebrating their enormous scientific achievements at our upcoming Annual Meeting in April."

Of the 30 members of the 2024 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy, seven are from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

Ebert was recognized for seminal contributions to elucidating the mechanism of action of immunomodulatory imide drugs in multiple myeloma, characterizing 5q deletions in myelodysplastic syndrome, defining the importance of age-related clonal hematopoiesis in carcinogenesis, and providing critical insights into targeted protein degradation as a therapeutic strategy.

In naming Gelber, the academy recognized his celebrated contributions to improving patient care through his development of innovative biostatistical methodologies including the Quality-adjusted Time Without Symptoms of disease and Toxicity of treatment (Q-TWiST) and Subpopulation Treatment Effect Pattern Plot (STEPP) methods that have had a profound impact on treatment efficacy and patient outcomes.

Golub was honored for lauded research contributions that have revolutionized cancer biology and treatment, including pioneering the use of DNA chips to identify leukemia-specific genetic fingerprints and developing several innovative methods to analyze cancer gene expression, including Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), now frequently used to characterize tumors and inform treatment decisions.

In naming Jänne, the academy honored his steadfast contributions to elucidating the significance of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in lung cancer etiology and treatment, codiscovering novel EGFR mutations responsible for lung cancer progression, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance, and establishing irreversible pyrimidine inhibitors as plausible lung cancer drug targets, leading to the development and approval of osimertinib.

Meyerson was recognized for revered contributions to cancer research, including discovering key lung cancer driver mutations, developing innovative single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and single-template sequencing for human cancer genome analysis, and pioneering novel gene sequencing-based therapeutic strategies and molecular diagnostic assays that have since been commercialized and globally adopted.

In naming Pellman, the academy recognized his illustrious contributions to the understanding of cell division functions, such as spindle assembly and positioning, asymmetric cell division, and cytokinesis, which, when aberrant, contribute to genomic instability, for developing novel technologies such as single-cell genome sequencing, and for elucidating key regulatory mechanisms in genomic and organismal evolution.

Rebbeck was honored for groundbreaking contributions to optimizing standards of cancer prevention in clinical practice and reducing cancer mortality by characterizing the role of BRCA1/2 mutations in high-risk breast and ovarian cancer populations and quantifying prostate cancer risk in the global African Diaspora using clinical patient data, conglomerate genotypes, and tumor biomarkers.

All newly elected Fellows of the AACR Academy will be formally recognized during the AACR Annual Meeting 2024 Opening Ceremony on Sunday, April 7.

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