American Association for Cancer Research honors two UChicago physician-scientists

March 25, 2013

Janet Rowley, MD Janet Rowley, MD

Cancer specialists Janet D. Rowley, MD, and Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, of the University of Chicago have been named to the first class of Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy.

Rowley, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics, was selected for her discovery of recurring chromosomal abnormalities in leukemias and lymphomas -- findings that have revolutionized how cancer is understood and treated.

Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD

Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, associate dean for global health, and director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, was chosen for her work on the interactions between genetics and environment in the onset of breast cancer in young women of African ancestry and research on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in women at high risk.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) created the Academy to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose “major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer.” They selected the first fellows through a “rigorous peer review process that evaluates individuals on the basis of their stellar scientific achievements” in cancer research. Only individuals who have made exceptional contributions to cancer and/or cancer-related biomedical science are eligible for election.

“Our Board of Directors made the decision to establish the AACR Academy as a mechanism for recognizing scientists whose contributions to the cancer field have had an extraordinary impact. Membership in the Fellows of the AACR Academy will be the most prestigious honor bestowed by the American Association for Cancer Research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, chief executive officer of the AACR.

AACR Academy medals

The inaugural class of Fellows will be inducted into the AACR Academy on Friday, April 5, in Washington, D.C., prior to the annual meeting of the Academy. It includes 106 individuals, symbolizing the age of the organization upon establishment of the Academy. Future classes of Fellows shall consist of no more than 11 individuals, in honor of the 11 founding members of the American Association for Cancer Research. These Fellows will be elected by vote of all the Fellows of the AACR Academy.

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