Institute of Medicine Elects Lynda Chin to Membership

Select honor recognizes leaders in fields of medicine and health for professional achievements and commitment to service

MD Anderson News Release 10/15/12

Lynda Chin, M.D., professor and chair of Genomic Medicine and scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.

Membership recognizes physicians and scientists who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. Fewer than 70 new members and 10 foreign associates are elected each year.

"I'm honored to be selected as an IOM member by such a prestigious scientific group of colleagues." Chin said. "I'm fortunate to be part of the genomic revolution that contributes to making personalized medicine a reality. I thank the talented trainees and researchers in my lab, and my many collaborators, for their creative thinking, persistence and hard work."

Current IOM members elect new members annually from candidates nominated for their professional achievements, expertise to contribute to IOM research and commitment to service. Election is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. Currently there are approximately 1,700 IOM members representing the health care professions, as well as the natural, social and behavioral sciences.

Chin is a leader in translational genomic medicine, serving on multiple high-profile scientific committees and often publishing her work in top-tier journals. Chin employs an integrated genomic, genetic and biological program framework to identify novel cancer genes and translate these discoveries into productive drug discovery efforts. Her research focuses on the genesis, progression and maintenance of cancer, specifically glioblastoma and melanoma. She has made high-impact scientific discoveries in multiple fields that span transcription, telomere biology, mouse models of human cancer, oncogenomics and personalized cancer medicine.

The goal of Dr. Chin's research program is to translate basic science discoveries into validated therapeutic targets and biomarkers as well as innovative combination strategies. Chin also serves in a leadership role for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. For the TCGA, she is both the principal investigator of a Genome Data Analysis Center working to develop novel tools to manage, integrate and process the wealth of the data that TCGA generates, as well as the co-PI of a Genome Characterization Center. She also leads both the GBM and melanoma analysis working groups in TCGA.

Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health and health care. IOM members volunteer their time to serve as experts on rigorous research studies to answer questions of national importance posed by political decision makers, such as Congress, as well as the public.

Chin joins a select group of colleagues at MD Anderson who are also IOM members: Ellen Gritz, Ph.D., chair of Behavioral Science (2007), Ronald DePinho, M.D., president (2004) and John Mendelsohn, M.D. professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics and co-director of MD Anderson's Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy (1997).