Lynda Chin, M.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Genomic Medicine and scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.
It's one of highest honors in medicine. Each year fewer than 70 new members are elected by the IOM's current members in recognition of their contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.
As a member of the IOM, she'll be part of an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. It was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences.
About 1,800 physicians and scientists are active members, including three colleagues from MD Anderson: Ellen Gritz, Ph.D., chair of Behavioral Science (elected in 2007); Ronald DePinho, M.D., president (2004); and John Mendelsohn, M.D., co-director of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy (1997).
Chin is a leader in translational genomic medicine, employing an integrated genomic, genetic and biological program framework to identify novel cancer genes and translate these discoveries into productive drug discovery efforts.
Notable recent publications include the discovery of driver mutations in UV-induced melanoma published in Cell, as well as the identification of a novel drug combination that effectively shrinks NRAS-mutant melanoma tumors published in Nature Medicine. This study has motivated Novartis to design a combination Phase Ib/II clinical trial for NRAS mutant melanoma patients.
The goal of Chin's research program is to translate basic science discoveries into validated therapeutic targets and biomarkers as well as innovative combination strategies. You can see her discuss the promise and challenges that surround cancer drug discovery and development in her TEDMED 2012 talk.
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 glioblastoma mutliforme and melanoma analysis working groups in TCGA.
Additionally, Chin is lending her expertise to MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program, which aims to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.
In particular, Chin is co-leading some of the platforms, including the Genomics platform with Andrew Futreal, Ph.D, as well as the Big-Data-Analytics platforms with Futreal, John Frenzel, M.D., and Keith Perry.