Anil Sood, M.D., elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Anil Sood, M.D., professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) for his discovery of the mechanistic basis for effects of chronic stress on cancer and the identification of the mechanisms behind paraneoplastic thrombocytosis. His research is focused on improving the understanding of the mechanisms underlying ovarian cancer growth and progression, developing new biologically targeted therapies and the role of non-coding RNAs as biomarkers and for therapeutic applications.

Over the course of his 23-year career as a physician-scientist, Sood has worked on developing new therapies aimed at the tumor microenvironment and understanding the mechanisms of RNA interference. He developed some of the first RNAi therapeutics and translated multiple new drugs from lab to clinic, as well as implemented new care algorithms for advanced ovarian cancer, leading to substantially increased complete resection rates. Most recently, he and his lab developed new biomarkers based on extracellular vesicles and solved fundamental problems for cancer therapy using this technology.

“I have dedicated my entire career to understanding human cancer biology and converting lab discoveries into novel therapeutics,” Sood said. “I am deeply honored to be recognized by my peers and the NAM for my contributions to the field.”

The NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine, was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on issues related to health, medicine, health policy and biomedical sciences. Each year, members are elected to the NAM by their peers in recognition of their outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. It is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Since joining MD Anderson in 2002, Sood has held various leadership positions, including co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAs, director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program and co-leader of the Ovarian Cancer Moon Shot®.

Sood has received various awards and recognition for his research, including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. He is also an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and was selected as an American Cancer Society Research Professor in 2017.

With the election of Sood, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center now has eight members of the NAM: Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology; V. Craig Jordan, Ph.D., professor of Breast Medical Oncology; Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., chair of Genetics; David Piwnica-Worms, Ph.D., chair of Cancer Systems Imaging; Helen Piwnica-Worms, Ph.D., professor of Experimental Radiation Oncology; Ronald DePinho, M.D., former president and professor of Cancer Biology; and Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology.