Lubin Family Foundation Scholars include some of the nation's most promising early-career investigators. Each Scholar is pursuing cancer-relevant basic or translational laboratory-based research, and each has demonstrated the potential to join the next
generation of leaders in cancer research. Their mentors are leaders in their respective scientific fields — providing the scholars with guidance, support, and inspiration.
2023 Lubin Scholars and Lubin Mentors
- Scholar Elliott Brea, MD, PhD; Mentors Eric Smith, MD, PhD, and David Barbie, MD
- Scholar William Gibson, MD, PhD; Mentor Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD
- Scholar Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD; Mentors Marcia Haigis, PhD, and Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD
- Scholar Alexandria Maurer, MD, PhD; Mentor Catherine Wu, MD
Read about our 2023 Scholars and Mentors below.
Scholar Elliott Brea, MD, PhD, and Mentors Eric Smith, MD, PhD, and David Barbie, MD
Elliott Brea MD, PhD, is focused on developing new cellular therapies for lung cancer. Brea completed his MD and PhD degrees at Weill Cornell Medicine, and went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
He is currently a fellow in the Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Hematology/Oncology program. With his mentors, Brea is working on developing and translating chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in difficult-to-treat lung cancers. By focusing
on identifying new targets as well as manipulating the tumor microenvironment, they are confident that they can translate their findings into the clinic.
Eric Smith, MD, PhD, is Director of Translational Research for Immune Effector Cell Therapies at Dana-Farber; Principal Investigator of a pre-clinical laboratory; and Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School. He received his MD/PhD
and internal medicine training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Hospital, and medical oncology and post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he stayed on as faculty in the Cellular Engineering Center and Myeloma/Cellular
Therapy services before being recruited to Dana-Farber in 2020.
The Smith Lab for Gene and Cell Engineering focuses on advancing the field of gene, cellular, and mRNA immunotherapies for both hematologic and solid tumors, and translation of such therapies for the benefit of patients. An example of recent prior work
includes the identification of GPRC5D as a target for the immunotherapy of myeloma, and generation and translation of the first GPRC5D-targeted CAR to the clinic (STM 2019; NEJM 2022).
David Barbie, MD, is a thoracic medical oncologist in the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and Associate Director, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science. Barbie
was Principal Investigator of a multicenter lung cancer clinical trial using this first-generation drug, and his work also led to similar studies in colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Currently, his laboratory is developing ways to co-opt TBK1 signaling
to drive an antiviral response that can boost the impact of cancer immunotherapies. As a fellow, he was the recipient of an ASCO Young Investigator award and NIH K08 grant. Since starting his laboratory, he has also received an ASCI Young Physician
Scientist Award, and was elected as an ASCI Member in 2019.
Scholar William Gibson, MD, PhD, and Mentor Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD
William Gibson, MD, PhD, earned degrees in Biological Engineering and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then joined the Harvard-MIT MD/PhD program, where he worked with Rameen Beroukhim on understanding cancer
evolution and the therapeutic vulnerabilities of somatic copy number alterations. Gibson completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is completing his Medical Oncology fellowship at Dana Farber. He performs research
in the laboratories of Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD, and Stuart Schreiber, PhD, where he is using emerging insights from chemical biology to address drug cancer's most intractable drivers, tumor suppressor genes.
Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD, serves as Charles A. Dana Chair in Human Cancer Genetics at Dana-Farber; Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and an Institute Member of the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute. Meyerson
and colleagues have discovered genes and gene alterations important in human cancer, including the cyclin-dependent kinase genes CDK2 and CDK6, the telomerase catalytic subunit gene TERT, somatic mutations in lung cancer
in EGFR (with Bill Sellers, MD, Bruce Johnson, MD, and Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD), BRAF, U2AF1, RBM10, HLA genes and others, and copy number alterations including lineage amplifications of NKX2-1 and
SOX2 in lung cancers.
The current focus of the Meyerson Laboratory includes somatic alterations in the non-coding cancer genome, the cancer microbiome, and genome-inspired cancer drug discovery. Meyerson has been privileged to mentor a generation of young cancer scientists,
among them many wonderful Dana-Farber oncology fellows.
Scholar Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD, and Mentors Marcia Haigis, PhD, and Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD
Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist in the Neuro-Oncology fellowship of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. She obtained her MD from the Tzu Chi University in Taiwan and her PhD in Pathobiology
from Johns Hopkins University under the mentorship of Dr. Chi V. Dang, where she co-discovered that the MYC oncogene could disrupt the circadian molecular clock, contributing to aberrant metabolism and cell growth. Hsieh also collaborated with neuroscientist
Amita Sehgal, PhD, and discovered that both upregulation and downregulation of Drosophila MYC affect circadian behavior and metabolism in fruit flies. Subsequently, she completed her Neurology residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center, where she
organized the first neuro-oncology tumor board. Currently, as a neuro-oncology fellow, Hsieh takes care of brain tumor patients at Mass General and conducts her research in the laboratories of Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD, and Marcia Haigis, PhD, at
Harvard Medical School, with support from the National Cancer Institute K12 program. Her research focuses on utilizing unbiased genomic CRISPR screen to identify novel regulators for glioma growth and investigating the metabolic regulations at the
neuron-glioma synapses. Her goal is to have her own laboratory in the future to investigate how glioma takes advantage of the brain microenvironment and hijacks the metabolic pathways originally wired to produce neurotransmitters at the synapse.
Marcia Haigis, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology; co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research; and Director of Gender Equity for Faculty in Science at Harvard Medical School. She obtained
her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and performed postdoctoral studies at MIT, studying mitochondrial metabolism. Haigis is an active member of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School.
Her research has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of how mitochondria contribute to human health and diseases of aging. Her studies identified that mitochondria mediate metabolic reprogramming in cancer, including identifying nodes
of metabolic vulnerability in cancer, as well as identifying metabolic recycling of ammonia to generate amino acids important for tumor growth. Her work has shed light on our understanding of how diet and obesity regulate anti-tumor immunity. She
is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Brookdale Leadership in Aging Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award, the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, the National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leaders
in Health and Medicine Program, and the 2023 Samsung Ho-Am Prize in Medicine.
The research of Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD, examines the mechanisms by which animals choose what to do next. This process of "action selection" uses information from past experiences, current goals, internal needs, and the current state
of the environment to choose an action that achieves near- and long-term objectives, such as access to food, water, mates, and safety from predators. To facilitate their studies of the basal ganglia, the Sabatini group develops novel optical, behavioral,
and mathematical methods. Sabatini is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He earned his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology.
Scholar Alexandria Maurer, MD, PhD, and Mentor Catherine Wu, MD
Alexandria Maurer, MD, PhD, grew up in Oklahoma, then attended the University of Rochester, where she did research in T-cell immunodeficiencies. She completed her MD/PhD training at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine
in New York, NY, where she studied host defense mechanisms and infection. Maurer completed an Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by medical oncology training at the Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham fellowship program,
and she is currently an Instructor in Stem Cell Transplantation in Dana-Farber's Department of Medical Oncology. Her current research centers on understanding how immune cells from a stem cell transplant donor can eradicate blood cancer cells in patients
Catherine Wu, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American
Physicians. Wu received her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine, and completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Hematology-Oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber. She joined the staff at Dana-Farber in 2000.
At Dana-Farber, she has initiated an integrated program of research and clinical activities that focuses on dissecting the basis of effective anti-tumor immunity. Wu's laboratory has focused on the use of genomics-based approaches to discover immunogenic
antigen targets, and to understand the molecular basis of therapeutic response and resistance. She has led early-phase clinical trials to test personalized tumor vaccines in melanoma and glioblastoma.
Read about our 2022 Scholars and Mentors