June 24, 2020
Twelve MD Anderson researchers honored with 2020 AACR Team Science Awards
BY Clayton Boldt, Ph.D.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is recognizing the founding members of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the current project team with 2020 AACR Team Science Awards. These teams will be honored during the AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II on June 24.
The Cancer Genome Atlas was launched in 2006 as a joint endeavor between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The program was created to bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers from across many institutions with the goal of improving understanding of cancer by cataloging genetic alterations found in tumor samples.
According to the NCI, TCGA has characterized more than 20,000 primary cancers and matched normal samples from more than 11,000 patients across 33 different cancer types. The effort has united 20 collaborating institutions from the U.S. and Canada, and the data remains freely available the public.
“TCGA has proven itself an invaluable resource for researchers, leading to significant advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” says Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president. “This incredible effort represents the pinnacle of team science, which is key to meaningful scientific progress. Collaborative research is at the core of our approach at MD Anderson, and we are proud to honor those who have contributed to this success.”
The AACR Team Science Award was established by AACR and Eli Lilly and Company to acknowledge and catalyze the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the understanding of cancer and translating research discoveries into clinical applications.
The first 2020 AACR Team Science Award is given to the 41 founding members of TCGA. The second AACR Team Science Award is given to the 130 members of TCGA’s current project team.
MD Anderson researchers being recognized are:
Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., professor of Cancer Biology (TCGA Advisory Committee Chair)
Current Project Team
Rehan Akbani, Ph.D., associate professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Bita Esmaeli, M.D., professor of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery
Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, M.D., professor of Surgical Oncology
Lawrence Kwong, Ph.D., assistant professor of Translational Molecular Pathology
Alexander J. Lazar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pathology
Han Liang, Ph.D., professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Kenna R. Mills Shaw, Ph.D., executive director of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy
Anne S. Tsao, M.D., professor of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology
John N. Weinstein, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Scott E. Woodman, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Genomic Medicine
W.K. Alfred Yung, M.D., professor of Neuro-Oncology
Refer a patient to MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.
This incredible effort represents the pinnacle of team science, which is key to meaningful scientific progress.
Peter WT Pisters, M.D.