Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D.

Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., is the William and Jane Shingleton Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University and serves as the Executive Director of the Duke Cancer Institute. A Morehead Scholar graduate of the University of North Carolina, he earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine and did his clinical training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Johns Hopkins. He was a Professor of Oncology, Pediatrics, and Molecular Biology at Johns Hopkins prior to becoming Chair of the Hematology-Oncology Department and later Cancer Center Director at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, before moving to Duke in 2011. He is a Pediatric Oncologist and a cancer biologist; his laboratory research concentrates on DNA damage and repair, tumor suppressor genes, and causes of cancer related to genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. His discoveries have made a major impact on our understanding of both how cancers develop and how they respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and his publications reporting the roles of p53 and ATM in DNA damage signaling are among the most highly cited publications in the biomedical literature of the past two decades. He has received numerous honors for his highly cited work, including election to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and receiving the AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to basic cancer research. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), on the Boards of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI), as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular Cancer Research, and as Editor of the textbook Clinical Oncology. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards of both Stand-Up-to-Cancer (SU2C) and the V Foundation.

 

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Loren D. Walensky, M.D., Ph.D.

Loren D. Walensky, M.D., Ph.D., is a chemical biologist and pediatric oncologist, whose innovative work in creating stapled peptides for use in cancer and other disease applications contributed to the founding of Aileron Therapeutics. His ongoing work employs this groundbreaking peptide-stapling strategy to produce diverse anticancer peptides to deactivate disease-causing apoptotic and transcriptional pathways in a variety of human tumors, and he also remains deeply committed to pediatric oncology care. Dr. Walensky joined the Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School faculty as Instructor of Pediatrics in 2003, founded his independent research laboratory as Assistant Professor in 2006, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and Full Professor in 2016. Dr. Walensky is the recipient of numerous awards including an NIH Director’s Transformative Research RO1 Award, a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research, and an NCI Outstanding Investigator R35 Award. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Pediatric Society. Dr. Walensky received his M.D and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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Brian Druker, M.D.

Brian Druker, M.D., is the Director of the Knight Cancer Institute, Associate Dean for Oncology of the OHSU School of Medicine, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His research is focused on translating the knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer into specific therapies and investigating the optimal use of these molecularly targeted agents. He performed preclinical studies that led to the development of imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and then spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval of the drug in record time. This work changed the life expectancy of patients with CML from an average of 3 to 5 years to a 95% five-year survival, and has resulted in a paradigm-shift in cancer treatment from non-specific chemotherapy to highly targeted therapeutic agents. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and, among numerous awards, is the recipient of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

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Elliot Ehrich, M.D.

Elliot Ehrich, M.D., has spent a large part of his career at Alkermes, a global biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines for central nervous system diseases, where he has led the functions of discovery, delivery science, research and development, project management and medical affairs. He previously held the roles of SVP and then EVP of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Alkermes in 2000, Dr. Ehrich spent seven years at Merck & Co. overseeing the successful clinical development and registration of novel pharmaceuticals. He has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for over 23 years, and early in his career completed a predoctoral fellowship at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Ehrich is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and has had numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. He received his M.D. from Columbia University and residency and fellowship training at Stanford University.

 

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Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D.

Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D., is widely recognized for his research in cancer drug discovery, using fragment-based approaches and structure-based drug design. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 2009, Dr. Fesik served as the Divisional Vice President of Cancer Research at Abbott, where he developed new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, determined the three-dimensional structures of several proteins and protein/ligand complexes, and pioneered a fragment-based method for drug discovery called SAR (structure-activity relationships) by NMR to identify and optimize ligands for binding to many protein drug targets. Dr. Fesik has over 270 publications, acted as a reviewer for the NIH Biophysical Chemistry Study Section and the NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program, and served as a member of fifteen editorial boards of various peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Fesik has received prestigious awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from EAS, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research. Dr. Fesik holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Connecticut and was a postdoctoral associate in the School of Medicine at Yale University.

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Robert H. Grubbs, Ph.D.

Robert H. Grubbs, Ph.D., a chemist and Nobel laureate, has been a Professor of Chemistry at Caltech since 1978. He and two associates won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for “the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis." The Grubbs group developed a family of ruthenium catalysts for this now widely used chemical reaction, which is the basis for developing small cyclic molecules or peptides for use in drug discovery. An early application from the Caltech group was the development of cyclic and helical stapled peptides. Scientists continued to build on this work, which ultimately led to the creation of active pharmaceuticals. Before moving to the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Grubbs was at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan from 1969 to 1978, where he achieved the rank of Associate Professor. Dr. Grubbs has been a founder or scientific advisor to numerous technology and pharmaceutical companies. He has received numerous professional fellowships and awards. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Grubbs received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.

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Alan List, M.D.

Alan List, M.D., is the President and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center and Senior Member in the Department of Malignant Hematology and the Experimental Therapeutic Program, and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. List is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the development of novel therapeutics for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), including Revlimid® (lenalidomide), for MDS and multiple myeloma. Dr. List has received several awards, and serves as a member of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation Board of Directors and is the President-Elect (2017-18) for the Society of Hematologic Oncology.

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David G. Nathan, M.D.

David G. Nathan, M.D., is a distinguished physician-researcher and pioneer in the field of pediatric hematology who has made numerous contributions to academic medicine. His research led to the creation of the first successful treatment for iron overload in thalassemia patients, the first prenatal diagnosis test for thalassemia and sickle cell disease, and the drug hydroxyurea—now a mainstay for managing the disease. Under his leadership, the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) developed as the country’s premier pediatric hematology program. Prior to DFCI, he served as Chief of Hematology at CHB and the Chief of Hematology and Oncology at CHB and DFCI. Dr. Nathan served as Physician-In-Chief at BCH for 10 years before becoming DFCI’s President in 1995. He is one of only three physicians to receive both the Howland and Kober medals, and other awards include the inaugural Boston Children’s Hospital Lifetime Impact Award, the American Society of Hematology Henry M. Stratton Medal and its top recognition, the Wallace Coulter Award, as well as the National Medal of Science. Dr. Nathan is a member of the American Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

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Carol Prives, Ph.D.

Carol Prives, Ph.D., is the DaCosta Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. She was educated in Canada, receiving her BSc and Ph.D. from McGill University. Her postdoctoral training took place at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Weizmann Institute, after which she became a faculty member at the Weizmann Institute. She then joined the Biological Sciences Department at Columbia University where she was named the DaCosta Professor of Biology in 1995. Dr. Prives served as Chair of that department between 2000 and 2004. Since the late 1980’s her work has focused on the p53 tumor suppressor protein, the product of the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. She and her group have elucidated aspects of the structure and function of the p53 protein especially as it relates to its roles as a transcriptional activator. In parallel, her group has examined how cancer related mutant forms of p53 regulate tumorigenesis. Work from her laboratory has also illuminated the functions of the key p53 negative regulators, MDM2 and MDMX.

Dr. Prives has served as Chair of both the Experimental Virology and the Cell and Molecular Pathology Study Sections of the NIH and was a member of the NCI Intramural Scientific Advisory Board. She was also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Massachusetts General Cancer Center as well as the American Association for Cancer Research and is currently a member of the Scientific Council of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. She also serves on the editorial boards of Cell, Genes & Development, Cancer Discovery and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Prives has received several honors including being named an American Cancer Society Research Professor, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the AACR Academy. She has presented numerous named lectures and has received awards including the NCI Rosalind E. Franklin Award for Women in Science, the Paul Janssen Prize in Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship Award and the Ernst W. Bertner Award from MD Anderson. Dr. Prives has also received an honorary doctorate from McGill University, her alma mater.

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