MARCH 23, 2022, NEW YORK – Four Ludwig Cancer Research scientists have been elected Fellows of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), class of 2022: Ludwig Oxford Member Yang Shi, Ludwig MSK Director Alexander Rudensky and Ludwig Stanford investigators Christopher Garcia and Crystal Mackall. In addition, Ludwig Scientific Advisor Victor Velculescu too has been named a Fellow of the Academy.
The AACR notes that election to the Academy recognizes “distinguished scientists whose scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer.” Nominees are elected through an annual peer review process conducted by existing Fellows of the AACR Academy and ratified by the AACR Academy Steering Committee and the AACR Executive Committee in conjunction with the AACR Academy Nomination and Election Oversight Committee.
Ludwig Oxford’s Shi is recognized for his landmark contributions to the field of epigenetics, which the AACR noted have had a “far-reaching impact on basic and translational cancer research.” These include the transformative demonstration that histone methylation, which controls gene expression, is reversible and dynamically regulated, and the discovery of the first histone demethylase, LSD1, which is now a significant drug target for the treatment of cancer.
Ludwig Stanford’s Mackall is honored for her “pioneering contributions to the fields of pediatric oncology, immunology and immunotherapeutics, including the discovery of the role of IL-7 in T cell homeostasis” and, among other things, her “significant efforts to advance the use of CAR-T cell therapies.”
Her Ludwig Stanford colleague Garcia is recognized for “world-renowned contributions to the fields of immunology and structural biology, defining the biophysical properties of receptor-ligand binding, and the visualization of protein complexes crucial to the understanding of the immune system and drug design.”
Ludwig MSK’s Rudensky is being honored for his “pivotal discoveries of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune system governing the differentiation and function of regulatory T cells (Treg), the discovery of the FOXP3 gene switch as a cell lineage specification factor for Tregs.” He is also recognized for his work showing the critical role Tregs play in suppressing autoimmunity, cancer progression and anti-tumor immune responses.
Scientific Advisor Velculescu is recognized for his stellar contributions to our understanding of the “genomic alterations in cancer cells.” He is also noted for, among other things, the development of technologies for the non-invasive and early detection of cancer, and a body of work that includes the first sequencing of a cancer genome and “the identification of numerous cancer-related genes and pathways involved in tumorigenesis.”
We extend our warmest congratulations to these cherished members of the Ludwig Cancer Research community on their election to the AACR Academy.