Lubin Scholars and Lubin Mentors

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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.

2024 Lubin Scholars and Mentors

  • Scholar Tamar Berger, MD, PhD, and Mentors William Kaelin Jr., MD, and Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD
  • Scholar Elizabeth Carstens, MD, and Mentors Eric Smith, MD, PhD, and Steven Carr, PhD
  • Scholar Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD, and Mentors Marcia Haigis, PhD, and Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD
  • Scholar Nolan Priedigkeit, MD, PhD, and Mentor Todd Golub, MD
  • Scholar MacLean Sellars, MD, PhD, and Mentor Cathy Wu, MD

Read about our 2024 Scholars and Mentors below.

Scholar Tamar Berger, MD, PhD, and Mentors William Kaelin Jr., MD, and Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD

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Tamar Berger, MD, PhD, attended Stanford University, where she conducted research in Alzheimer's disease. She completed her MD/PhD training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, where she studied protein misfolding in the context of polyglutamine repeat disorders. Berger completed a Neurology residency at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, followed by a Neuro-Oncology fellowship with the Dana-Farber/Mass General Brigham Fellowship program, and she is currently an Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and at Dana-Farber's Department of Medical Oncology. Berger performs research in the laboratories of Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, and William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, where she is studying genetic vulnerabilities associated with truncal chromosomal alterations in glioblastoma.

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William G. Kaelin Jr., MD, is a 2019 Nobel Prize recipient in Medicine or Physiology. He received his MD from Duke University in 1982 and was a house officer and chief resident in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Kaelin was a Medical Oncology Clinical Fellow at Dana-Farber and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Livingston, MD, where he began his studies of tumor suppressor proteins. He became an independent investigator at Dana-Farber in 1992, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2002. The 2019 Nobel was awarded jointly to Kaelin, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.

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Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, is a practicing neuro-oncologist whose research focus is to understand tumor evolution, with emphases on brain tumors and alterations in chromosome structure. This work spans computational methods development, genomic studies of human cancers, and experiments in model systems. In early work describing integrated genomic profiling of glioblastomas, he developed the Genomic Identification of Significant Targets In Cancer (GISTIC) method that is now widely used to analyze copy-number changes across a range of cancers. He has also contributed to the development of several other genomic analysis methods and has led integrated genomic profiling efforts in multiple cancer types, including pan-cancer analyses across thousands of tumors. This work has identified novel mechanisms by which cancers develop and progress, and novel cancer dependencies that have spurred the development of new cancer therapeutics.

Scholar Elizabeth Carstens, MD, and Mentors Eric Smith, MD, PhD, and Steven Carr, PhD

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Elizabeth Carstens, MD, earned a BS in Bioengineering from Rice University. She attended the University of Texas Southwestern for her MD, given with Distinction in Research for work she completed at the National Institutes of Health designing complement targeting antibodies. She then completed residency in Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and now is a Dana- Farber Medical Oncology fellow specializing in care of patients receiving cellular immunotherapies. Her scientific interest is in developing nucleic acid-based immunotherapies for hematologic and solid malignancies.

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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).

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Steven Carr, PhD, is Senior Director of Proteomics at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University and an Institute Scientist. He is internationally recognized as a leader in the development and application of proteomic technologies. In collaboration with scientists in the Broad Institute community, nationwide and internationally, Carr and his group address compelling questions in biology, chemistry, and medicine. Research developments from his lab include novel methods for cell, tissue, and biofluid processing, peptide separation and acquisition, and deepscale, quantitative analysis of proteins and a wide array of their modifications by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry as well as non-MS based approaches such as proximity ligation. Carr's laboratory also develops novel informatics pipelines for peptide and protein assignment and integration with genomic data.

Scholar Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD, and Mentors Marcia Haigis, PhD, and Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD

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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. She also collaborated with neuroscientist Dr. Amita Sehgal 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 in Philadelphia, where she organized the first Neuro-Oncology tumor board. Currently, as a neuro-oncology fellow, she 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 the 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.

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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 the 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.

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Bernardo Sabatini, MD, PhD, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He earned his MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Sabatini's research 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.

Scholar Nolan Priedigkeit, MD, PhD, and Mentor Todd Golub, MD

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Nolan Priedigkeit, MD, PhD, attended the University of Oregon for his undergraduate studies and received an MD/PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His thesis applied translational genomics to discover and functionally characterize acquired molecular dependencies in advanced breast cancers. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is currently a Medical Oncology Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Clinically, he sees patients with breast cancer with a particular focus on those afflicted with metastatic disease. His research aims to merge computational and genomic sciences with technology development to make an impact on how we understand and treat advanced cancers.

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Todd Golub, MD, is director and a founding core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Golub is a world leader in using genomics tools to understand the basis of cancer. He also pioneered the development of new cell-based approaches to drug discovery for cancer and other diseases. Golub is also the Charles A. Dana Investigator in Human Cancer Genetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, and the Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Scholar MacLean Sellars, MD, PhD, and Mentor Cathy Wu, MD

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MacLean Sellars, MD, PhD, is interested in developing new therapies for ovarian cancer. He grew up in Southern California and completed his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Strasbourg (France). MacLean then pursued post-doctoral research at New York University (NY), where he used T cell differentiation as a model system to understand the epigenetic regulation of cell fate decisions. During this time, a family battle with cancer led MacLean to clinical training with plans to become a physician-scientist. He attended the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (CA), before completing Internal Medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Medical Oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber. He will be a Medical Oncologist with the Dana-Farber Gynecologic Oncology Division starting in the fall of 2024. His research in the laboratory of Cathy Wu, MD, focuses on identifying novel antigens in ovarian cancer that may be used for T cell-based immune therapies.

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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.