PHILADELPHIA — The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y., as their president-elect for 2014-2015. Baselga is an internationally recognized physician-scientist whose research focuses on the clinical development of novel molecularly targeted agents for the treatment of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Baselga will work collaboratively with the AACR Board of Directors and the AACR membership, which includes more than 34,000 members in more than 90 countries, to further the association’s mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration.
“I am deeply honored to serve as president-elect of the AACR. These are both exciting and challenging times in the fight against cancer. Advances in our knowledge of cancer are resulting in the fulfillment of the promise of precision cancer medicine. Unprecedented breakthroughs are occurring in genomics, targeted therapeutics, and immunology, just to name a few,” Baselga said. “Together with the whole AACR community, I will push forward on multiple fronts including regulatory science and policy, integration of basic and clinical research, and access of clinical trials to our patient population with the clear mission of advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer.”
Baselga will officially become president-elect at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, to be held in San Diego, Calif., April 5-9, and will assume the presidency in April 2015.
“Dr. Baselga is a distinguished clinical and translational cancer researcher who has brought a number of transformative breast cancer therapies to the clinic,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “We are delighted that he has been elected to serve as the 2014-2015 AACR president-elect and are confident that his enormous experience in the development of molecularly targeted therapies and precision medicine will be invaluable as he leads the association toward its goal of defeating all cancers.”
Baselga has been actively involved in the AACR for more than 20 years. Together with Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D., Baselga is a founding editor-in-chief of AACR’s high-impact scientific journal, Cancer Discovery. He has served the AACR in many other key capacities, including: Annual Meeting 2013 Program Committee chair; member of the board of directors (2009-2012); and member of the editorial boards of Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Prevention Research. In addition, Baselga has served on numerous committees, including: chair of the Clinical Trials Committee (2012-2013); chair of the Research Grant Review Committee (2009); member of the Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for International Collaboration in Cancer Research Committee (2006-2008); the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research Committee (2004-2005); and the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award Committee (2002-2003). He is a principal of the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team: Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Women’s Cancers.
Baselga is a pioneer in the development of treatments for women with HER2-positive breast cancer. He conducted the initial clinical trial demonstrating that patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer benefited from treatment with the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab. In addition, he led the clinical development of the second anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, pertuzumab. His most recent focus in the laboratory and clinic is the identification of mechanisms of resistance to anti-HER2 agents and the clinical development of novel agents – including PI3 kinase inhibitors – that might be able to target these resistance mechanisms.
Prior to becoming physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Baselga was the chief of the division of hematology/oncology and associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He was also the director of medical oncology, hematology, and radiation oncology and chair of medical oncology service at Vall d’Hebron University and Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, and professor of medicine at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Previously, Baselga served as a faculty member of the breast/gynecological oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Memorial Hospital.
Baselga has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in cancer research, including: the 32nd annual AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in 2008; the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute Gold Medal in 2010; and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) Young Investigator and Career Development awards. He is also a past president of the European Society for Medical Oncology and has served on the board of directors for ASCO and the European Cancer Organisation.
Baselga received his medical and doctoral degrees from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and completed residencies at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, as well as a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
# # #
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 34,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org. Follow the AACR on Twitter: @AACR. Follow the AACR on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aacr.org.