The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected José Baselga, MD, PhD, Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, as their President-Elect for 2014–2015. Dr. Baselga is an internationally recognized physician-scientist whose research focuses on the clinical development of novel molecularly targeted agents for the treatment of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Dr. Baselga will work collaboratively with the AACR Board of Directors and the AACR membership to further the association’s mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration.
“I am deeply honored to serve as President-Elect of the AACR. These are both exciting and challenging times in the fight against cancer. Advances in our knowledge of cancer are resulting in the fulfillment of the promise of precision cancer medicine. Unprecedented breakthroughs are occurring in genomics, targeted therapeutics, and immunology, just to name a few,” Dr. Baselga said. “Together with the whole AACR community, I will push forward on multiple fronts including regulatory science and policy, integration of basic and clinical research, and access of clinical trials to our patient population with the clear mission of advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer.”
Dr. Baselga officially became President-Elect at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, and he will assume the presidency in April 2015.
Pioneer in Breast Cancer
Dr. Baselga is a pioneer in the development of treatments for women with HER2-positive breast cancer. He conducted the initial clinical trial demonstrating that patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer benefited from treatment with the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). In addition, Dr. Baselga led the clinical development of the second anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, pertuzumab (Perjeta). His most recent focus in the laboratory and clinic is the identification of mechanisms of resistance to anti-HER2 agents and the clinical development of novel agents—including PI3 kinase inhibitors—that might be able to target these resistance mechanisms.
Prior to joining Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Baselga was the Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. ■