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Jedd Wolchok and Brad Bernstein elected to the NAM

Jedd Wolchok, Ludwig Cancer Research Weill Cornell
Jedd Wolchok
Brad Bernstein, Ludweig Cancer Research Harvard
Brad Bernstein

Our congratulations to Jedd Wolchok, board member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and Ludwig Harvard’s Bradley Bernstein, who were elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in October. A clinical oncologist, Jedd is perhaps best known for having led the transformational clinical development of the anti-CTLA-4 drug ipilimumab, the first checkpoint blockade immunotherapy to win regulatory approval. His subsequent contributions include the formulation of criteria to assess patient responses to immunotherapy and groundbreaking studies establishing the enhanced efficacy of combination anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 immunotherapies for melanoma. A co-director of the Ludwig Collaborative Laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine, Jedd has also contributed enormously to tumor immunology, and many of his laboratory’s findings have led to the creation of diagnostics and therapeutic strategies that are today in various stages of development. Brad, for his part, is an authority on epigenomics. In 2005, he was among the scientists who reported the first large-scale map of human chromatin structure, charting the distribution of a pair of epigenetic tags on two chromosomes and providing an early glimpse of how epigenetics regulates gene expression. A year later, he and his colleagues described for the first time how genes that orchestrate embryonic development are epigenetically tagged to perform their functions—work that upended some fundamental beliefs about how cells control which genes are made available for expression. His subsequent investigations have yielded numerous findings of significance to cancer biology and therapeutics, including the discovery and mechanistic exposition of how non-mutational—purely epigenetic—aberrations in the genome can give rise to cancers. Election to the NAM, as the Academy notes, “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.” We think Brad and Jedd, at the very least, fit that bill.

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