November 23, 2015, New York, NY—Ludwig San Diego’s Paul Mischel has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The honor recognizes Mischel’s distinguished contributions to science and its applications to cancer research in particular. In collaboration with his colleagues at Ludwig San Diego, Mischel has methodically charted the molecular interactions, genomic changes and dysfunctions in intracellular signaling that fuel the intractable brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). His work has, most notably, illuminated how the cells of this tumor—the most prevalent of adult brain cancers—evade therapy and re-engineer their metabolic processes to proliferate and thrive.
A recent study he led, for example, revealed in concrete detail how a known mutant receptor alters the gene-reading machinery of the cell as well as the readable segments of the genome, and how both these processes dovetail to meet at a protein known to fuel many cancers. In tracing the molecular cascades linking these phenomena, Mischel and his colleagues also exposed what are likely to be critical steps in the metabolic re-engineering that provides GBM cells with the raw materials they require to thrive. Further, they demonstrated how the nodes connecting these processes might be targeted by a class of experimental drugs already being evaluated in clinical trials against other types of cancer.
Mischel’s work has not only opened the door to the development of new drugs and therapeutic strategies for GBM but has elucidated molecular events likely to hold sway in a variety of other cancers. We extend our warmest congratulations to our colleague for this well-deserved and high honor.
Paul Mischel is a Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Diego.