MAY 14, 2020, New York—Five Ludwig Cancer Research scientists were named Fellows of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Class of 2020. The honorees include Ludwig Oxford’s Sir Peter Ratcliffe, who shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work, and four Ludwig Harvard researchers: Rakesh Jain, Kornelia Polyak, Alan D’Andrea and Myles Brown. Election to the Academy is a high honor bestowed by the AACR on those whose scientific contributions have “propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer.” Nominees are elected through a peer review process conducted by existing members of the AACR Academy.
Ratcliffe was recognized by the Academy for his landmark discoveries on how cells sense oxygen and respond to its depletion, a body of work that has significantly enriched our understanding of tumor biology and is now being applied to develop new cancer therapies.
Polyak was honored for her dissection of the role of cellular heterogeneity in breast cancer and cancer metastasis, and the application of that work to developing models for risk assessment and personalized cancer care. Brown was recognized for his discoveries on the role steroid hormones and their receptors play in the initiation and progression of various cancers, and his work on the epigenetic regulation of steroid receptor activity. D’Andrea, meanwhile, was honored for his elucidation of how DNA damage and repair defects drive Fanconi anemia, and his studies of protein complexes involved in the cell cycle, chromatin remodeling and DNA repair. Finally, Jain was recognized for his investigations of how the tumor microenvironment interacts with its surrounding vasculature, and the development of anti-angiogenic therapy to normalize tumor blood vessels for cancer therapy—work that the AACR notes has improved survival rates for a number of solid tumors.
Ludwig congratulates all five researchers on this well-deserved recognition of their contributions to cancer research and care.