MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, M.D., has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) ― one of the most prestigious accolades bestowed in the United States.
The NAS, established in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research. Its most famous members include Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell.
“I’m thrilled beyond words,” says DePinho. “It’s recognition of the enormous dedication and talent of the trainees in my lab. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by great people at great institutions throughout my career.”
“DePinho's work on telomeres and checkpoints established that telomere attrition can have dual effects in human cancer by driving tumor suppression or enhancement, depending on genetic background,” according to the academy citation. “His work also uncovered the mechanism for the increasing risk that advancing age confers on the development of the common human epithelial malignancies.”
DePinho is internationally recognized for basic and translational research in cancer, aging and age-associated degenerative disorders. The range of his research includes cancer drug and biomarker development, cancer gene discovery, stem cell biology and development of genetically engineered mouse models to study cancer in humans. His laboratory has produced an array of discoveries leading to better methods of early cancer detection, improved cancer patient care and new cancer drug development.
DePinho will be inducted into the NAS in April 2013.