We are delighted to announce that our Director Josep Tabernero is among the selected candidates for the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) Board of Directors (5 seats), to serve three year-terms (2023-2026). AACR eligible voting members can now elect for its Board of Directors as well as President-Elect and Nominating Committee (4 seats) until February 28, 2023.
“As a longstanding and devoted member of this prestigious Association, I am truly honored to have been nominated as a candidate for AACR’s Board of Directors,” said Josep Tabernero.
He continued, “I have been privileged to work together with its outstanding leadership and officers, across several committees, and if elected, I believe that these appointments afford me with the necessary in-depth understanding of the driving influences that make AACR so great as we celebrate its extraordinary 115th anniversary this year and seek to collectively strengthen its various programs.”
Selected by AACR’s Nominating Committee, nominees are eminent leaders and visionaries in the cancer science field. The eight outstanding candidates for AACR’s Board of Directors have each outlined their fields of scientific expertise and interest, and briefly described their aspirational goals and how they think they would help the AACR accomplish them in the future.
AACR Members are invited to learn more about each nominee, read their vision statements and cast their votes here.
More on his candidacy: our ‘spotlight’ interview with Josep Tabernero
We caught up with our director to find out more about how he would hope to work the AACR Board of Directors to help fulfill the Association’s mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research:
In addition to your AACR service, including leadership and committee posts and editorial board memberships, how might other previous experiences and current appointments help you to best serve its Board of Directors?
Regarding previous experiences, throughout my past presidency of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), 2018-2019, I have witnessed firsthand just what can be achieved by joining global forces. Cancer knows no boundaries, nor do leading professional societies in cancer science and oncology.
AACR is a highly established and powerful catalyst of much needed change at international level and a crucial actor in spurring transformative research, advancing technological innovation, and accelerating the pace of progress against cancer.
In my dual capacity as VHIO’s Director and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) in Barcelona, Spain, I am fortunate to co-lead several European and International translational research projects and collaborations that aim to rapidly translate cancer discovery into improved outcomes for patients and deliver on the true promise of precision medicine.
I believe in sharing the wealth of insights and experiences gleaned from ongoing and future projects, particularly in innovative clinical trial design and early drug development, to avoid costly duplication, and as importantly, exchange best practices and approaches at international level. In the race against cancer, we can learn so much from each other as we collectively seek to turn current challenges into opportunity and better outcomes for cancer patients everywhere.
If elected, which other priority areas would you seek to contribute to and how?
I am truly devoted to contributing to the conversations that will enable the international research community to combat cancer more successfully and improve cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship globally. I also hope to further strengthen AACR’s research programs and help prioritize areas that require increased focus including early-onset cancer as an emerging global epidemic.
As importantly, as outlined in AACR’s Cancer Progress Report 2022, another urgent priority is to better understand and tackle the biological and systemic roots of cancer disparities and to deliver health equity through research, policy, and advocacy. To do so will also require all stakeholders coming together to devise regionally tailored cancer plans and the setting of priorities accordingly.
To define key areas in need of change and resolve identified issues will require greater flexibility for some policy points, more uniformity for others. Again, I strongly believe in sharing experiences and learnings from the perspectives of others.
In the strengthening of science policy, which experiences/projects would you draw on to share with AACR’s Board of Directors?
In addition to my past presidency of ESMO, I have also been privileged to serve on its Public Policy Committee and am also a member of its Cancer Medicines Committee since 2016. I am also a member of Horizon Europe’s Mission on Cancer Assembly, and now lead one of the six work packages of the European Union’s 4.UNCAN.eu project*: Identification of cancer research challenges to address future EU priorities and research policies. This ambitious project aims to guide policymakers regarding research that will most likely improve the lives of cancer patients, create a European cancer research data hub, and improve cancer survivorship.
I believe that all these experiences will afford me important insights into the shaping and strengthening of oncopolicy as well as addressing the unacceptable regional inequalities in cancer research, access to optimal treatment and care, and disease prevention. These learnings could also be of value when working alongside AACR’s Board of Directors in setting general policy aimed at transforming patient outcomes.
*Drafting a Blueprint for European Cancer Research. Cancer Discov. 2022 Sep 12:OF1. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-ND2022-0016. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36095165.