Quantcast Our Leadership

Our Leadership






Trustees Emeriti

José Baselga, MD,PhD Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD Frank McCormick, PhD


The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is governed by a distinguished board elected by its 40,000-plus members. Learn more about the AACR Board of Directors.

​AACR Foundation Officers

Raymond DuBois, MD, PhD
The Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. DuBois is dean of the College of Medicine at The Medical University of South Carolina. He previously served as chairman and president of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Dr. DuBois is a recognized authority in the molecular and genetic basis for colorectal cancer. His recent research has focused on molecules involved in tissue inflammation and epigenetic changes in colorectal cancer progression. Dr. DuBois served as the 2008-09 president of the AACR.


William H. Mears Jr.
Brown Brothers Harriman Trust Co. LLC
Vice Chairman

Mr. Mears is regional trust head of Brown Brothers Harriman Trust Co., LLC. He is a past president of the Estate Planning Council of New York City and a past chair of the Deferred Giving Committee of the New York Philharmonic. Mears is vice chairman of the AACR Foundation and chairman of our Planned Giving Committee.


Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
American Association for Cancer Research
Secretary-Treasurer and CEO

Dr. Foti has been chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research since 1982. During her tenure, the AACR has grown from about 3,000 to 37,000 members residing in 108 countries. Dr. Foti serves as a board member and past president of the National Coalition for Cancer Research. She is also a member of the Executive Committee and board of Friends of Cancer Research and a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and its Life Sciences Congress. She is on the medical advisory board of the Prevent Cancer Foundation and is a council member of the European Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Foti has received many national and international awards for her contributions to cancer research.     

Bayard D. Clarkson, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Founding Chairman of the Board and President Emeritus

Dr. Clarkson is head of the Laboratory of Hematopoietic Cell Kinetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His laboratory has been devoted to understanding the growth and differentiation properties of leukemia cells and progenitor cells. By studying the core biological principles that govern and fuel cancer formation, Dr. Clarkson and his colleagues were among the first to develop and optimize treatment programs for adults with acute leukemias and lymphomas. He has also made significant contributions to the understanding of cancer biology, especially in the area of cancer stem cells. Dr. Clarkson served as the president of the AACR in 1980-81.

AACR Foundation Trustees

Beverly W. Aisenbrey

Mrs. Aisenbrey recently retired from her position as a managing director in the New York office of Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc., where she consulted to corporations on executive compensation for 34 years. Aisenbrey is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at Rutgers Business School, serves on the Rutgers Board of Overseers, and is a former trustee of Rutgers University.


Carlos L. Arteaga, MD
Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Arteaga is director and associate dean of Oncology Programs at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center. His research interests include oncogene signaling and molecular therapeutics in breast cancer, with an emphasis on targeted therapies; mechanisms of drug resistance; translational research; and investigator-initiated clinical trials. He is a principal investigator on the Stand Up To Cancer PI3K Dream Team. Dr. Arteaga served as the 2014-15 president of the AACR.


José Baselga, MD,PhD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Baselga is physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is an internationally renowned expert in the development of molecularly targeted agents for the therapy of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Dr. Baselga played a leading role in the pivotal clinical trials of cancer drugs trastuzumab, everolimus, lapatinib, and pertuzumab. Currently, his research focuses on novel anti-HER2 agents, resistance, and the development of PI3K pathway inhibitors. He previously served as scientific director and a founder of Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona. He is currently a principal investigator on the Stand Up To Cancer PI3K Dream Team and served as the AACR's president for 2015-16.        


Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Blackburn is the Morris Herzstein professor in biology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. She is widely recognized for her discovery of the enzyme telomerase. In 2009, Dr. Blackburn shared the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and telomerase. Her research has revolutionized the understanding of how cells function and has been called one of the most important discoveries in the field of molecular genetics. Dr. Blackburn serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee for Stand Up To Cancer and was president of the AACR in 2010-11.


James V. Buzzitta, MD
Hughes Management, LC

Dr. Buzzitta is a board certified internal medicine physician in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the founder and former CEO of the largest private physician-owned multi-specialty group in Michigan. He is currently president of Hughes Management LC, a real estate development company, and Hughes Ventures LLC, a private equity/venture capital company. Dr. Buzzitta has served on multiple boards, including the Spectrum Health System, the Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange, Priority Health, and the Grand Valley State University Foundation. He has spoken locally, regionally and nationally on the topics of physician integration, physician-hospital integration, healthcare economics, healthcare system strategies, the monetization of real estate, and healthcare system research and innovation strategies.


Michael Caligiuri, MD
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Caligiuri is director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He holds the John L. Marakas Nationwide Insurance Enterprise Foundation chair in cancer research and is a professor in The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Caligiuri is a renowned physician-scientist, known for his work in immunology that is focused on human natural killer cells and their modulation for the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and glioblastoma. He is currently president of the Society of Natural Immunity, chair of the National Academy of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, and a member or chair of the external boards for 12 of the nation’s cancer centers. Dr. Caligiuri is the 2017-18 president of the AACR.


Nancy Davidson, MD, FAACR
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Davidson is director of clinical oncology for the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium, and president of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher whose work focuses on clinical and translational breast cancer research and cancer biology and treatment. Dr. Davidson is known for her studies involving the role of hormones and the estrogen receptor in breast carcinogenesis that have defined the molecular mechanisms driving the disease as well as for her efforts to establish novel therapeutic approaches for patients who fail to respond to common treatment modalities. She currently serves as a member of the scientific advisory boards for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, V Foundation for Cancer Research, and Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, and is also the AACR's past-president for 2017-18.


Faye Florence, Esq.
Attorney, Non-Profit Board Member

Ms. Florence was the vice president and general counsel of Syratech Corporation, where she was responsible for managing all legal matters for the company, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, intellectual property, and licensing.  She served as chair of the Capital Campaign for a healthcare facility which is the first urban model "Green House Project" in the country. Florence has served on several nonprofit boards, and has extensive strategic planning, governance and nominating committee experience. Currently, she serves on the Compensation Committee for the Cardinal Cushing Centers and in an advisory capacity for the Chelsea Jewish Foundation.


Cathy Fraser
Mayo Clinic

Ms. Fraser is chief human resource officer with the Mayo Clinic. Prior to joining the Mayo Clinic , she served as senior vice president, Human Resources with Tenet Healthcare Corp., a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, a vice president of Finance at Sabre Holdings, and as an entrepreneur, owning and operating a small retail business focused on healthy meals and nutrition for busy families.  Ms. Fraser serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including The Board Connection, JKU Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. 


Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Garber is director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses primarily on breast cancer risk assessment and risk reduction. Dr. Garber is the recipient of numerous professional awards, and currently sits on the National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Advisory Board. She is a member of several AACR committees and editorial boards. Dr. Garber was the president of the AACR in 2011-12.     
Nance Guilmartin
Author, Consultant

Ms. Guilmartin is a four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, business adviser, keynote speaker, and leadership educator. She has designed and launched  successful public service initiatives such as the Designated Driver Program. She is the author of the book "Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say," a collection of stories and advice to help friends, family, and colleagues understand how to support one another during times of crisis and change. Guilmartin is a fellow of Florida International University's Center for Leadership, and was a founding board member for City Year. 


William N. Hait, MD, PhD
Janssen Research & Development LLC

Dr. Hait is global head of Janssen Research & Development LLC, the global research and development arm of Janssen, a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson. Formerly, Dr. Hait was director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey as well as professor of medicine and pharmacology and associate dean for oncology programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is a member of the medical and scientific advisory boards of several universities. Dr. Hait was the president of the AACR in 2007-08 and currently serves as the AACR's treasurer.


Richard A. Heyman, PhD
Metacrine, Inc.; ORIC Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Heyman is a co-founder and serves as executive chairman of Metacrine, Inc., a biotech company developing therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. He also serves as interim CEO and a board member of ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on developing therapeutics that target treatment-resistant cancers. Previously, he served as CEO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, co-founded and was CEO of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, and also co-founded and served as chief scientific officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics. Heyman serves on the boards of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Organovo, Inc., Gritstone Oncology, and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.


Wen-Jen Hwu, MD, PhD
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Hwu is a professor in the department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research interests include predictive/prognostic biomarker research aimed at personalized therapy, targeted therapy for both tumors and microenvironments, vaccine/immunotherapy development for melanoma prevention in high-risk patients, and brain metastasis research for a frequent and devastating complication of advanced melanoma. Dr. Hwu sits on the board of directors of the Connecticut Hospice, and is a member of the Southwest Oncology Group and the NCI Cancer Center Clinical Protocol Scientific Review and Monitoring Committee. She is a Council Member and past chairperson of AACR’s Women in Cancer Research group.

Tyler Jacks, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Jacks is director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and the David H. Koch Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also serves on the boards of Amgen, Inc., and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., and is chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board. His research interests are in the genetic events that contribute to the development of cancer, particularly the oncogene K-ras. Dr. Jacks was the president of the AACR in 2009-10.   

Elizabeth M. Jaffee, MD
The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Dr. Jaffee is deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins. Her research is focused on the development of vaccines that overcome immunity to pancreatic and breast cancers. She is chair and member of the National Cancer Advisory Board for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), co-chair of the NCI Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and leader of the Stand Up To Cancer-Lustgarten Foundation Dream Team: Transforming Pancreatic Cancer to a Treatable Disease. Dr. Jaffee is the AACR president-elect for 2017-18.
V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc
MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Dr. Jordan is a professor of breast medical oncology and molecular and cellular oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was the first to discover the breast cancer prevention properties of the drug tamoxifen and the scientific principles for adjuvant therapy with antihormones. Prior to joining MD Anderson, Dr. Jordan served as scientific director and vice chairman of oncology, as well as the Vincent T. Lombardi chair of translational cancer research at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University. In his distinguished career, Dr. Jordan has also served as vice president and research director for medical science and Alfred G. Knudson chair of cancer research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and director of the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Research Program for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Jordan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.    
Eleanor D. Kress
Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Co.

Ms. Kress is a vice president at Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Co. She manages legal and compliance activities regarding investment vehicles for corporate and governmental retirement plans, and reviews and negotiates agreements with investment advisory firms. Kress serves as chair of Wilmington Trust's Collective Fund Investment Subcommittee, and as a member of the company's Collective Investment Fund Management Committee. Kress sits on the boards of directors of Cannon Point North, Inc. and the North Carolina Society of New York.    
Sherry Lansing
The Sherry Lansing Foundation

Ms. Lansing is the founder and chief executive officer of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities. Lansing was chairwoman and chief executive officer of Paramount Pictures from 1992 to 2005. Currently, Lansing serves on the boards of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the Lasker Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and the Carter Center, among many others.     
John E. Leonard, PhD
Vaccinex, Inc.

Dr. Leonard is senior vice president of development with the biotechnology company Vaccinex, Inc. Dr. Leonard has worked in the biotechnology industry since 1988 and has held numerous leadership positions while specializing in therapeutic antibody development. While at Idec Pharmaceuticals and then Biogen Idec, he served in leadership positions on product development teams for drugs including rituximab, ibritumomab tiuxetan, and natalizumab. Dr. Leonard is also the president and chief executive officer of the John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation, which provides support for several grants and scholarships, including a fellowship in basic cancer research in partnership with the AACR.  

Lindy Li

Before entering public service, Ms. Li worked at Merck and Morgan Stanley. She is the founder and CEO of an education organization that works with enterprising high school students around the world. Ms. Li also serves as Women’s Co-Chair and Regional Chair at the Democratic National Committee, Ethnic Council, and was elected treasurer of Pennsylvania Young Democrats. She is in her tenth year as president of her Princeton class, becoming the longest consecutive serving female elected class president in the university's history. 

Laurence J. Marton, MD
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Marton is an adjunct professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and serves as a consultant to industry, government, and academic institutions. He is a leading expert with extensive experience in the fields of cell growth and drug development. Dr. Marton was previously professor and chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF, and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. In recent years, Dr. Marton has been a founder and chief executive officer of the SLIL Biomedical Corporation, as well as a chief scientific officer and adviser to other biopharmaceutical companies. He sits on the boards of Cancer Commons and the California Heart Center Foundation.     

Frank McCormick, PhD
University of California, San Francisco 

Dr. McCormick is the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a professor emeritus of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. McCormick pioneered cancer research looking at the molecular basis of cancer and how genes, when mutated or expressed at high levels, help turn normal cells into oncogenes. In 1992, he founded the biotech company Onyx Pharmaceuticals and developed sorafenio (Nexavar), which is used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. His current research interests center on the RAS pathway and new ways of targeting this pathway for cancer therapy. Dr. McCormick was the president of the AACR in 2012-13.


Gladys H. Monroy, PhD

Dr. Monroy is a patent attorney specializing in the life sciences, and has practiced patent law since 1986.  She recently retired from her position as senior partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, where she was a founder of the Patent Law Group that she chaired for nine years.  Prior to her legal career, Dr. Monroy served as an assistant professor of microbiology at New York Medical College.  Dr. Monroy has served as president of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association and on the board of the Intellectual Property Committee of the State Bar.  Currently she serves as co-chair of the Bay Area Region on the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute, and is a member of the International Board and the Executive Committee of the Weizmann Institute.  Dr. Monroy also serves on the boards of Cancer Commons and the Myeloma Institute of the University of Arkansas.


John E. Oxendine
Blackstar Management

Mr. Oxendine is president and chief executive officer of Blackstar Management. He is an investor, operator, and lender in the television broadcasting industry, with a primary focus on investment in minority-owned or controlled companies. Oxendine formerly served as chief executive at Broadcast Capital, Inc. He is a director and former chairman of the Palm Beach International Film Festival and sits on the global advisory board of the Footprints Foundation. 

Anil K. Rustgi, MD
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Rustgi is the T. Grier Miller Professor of Medicine, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, and director for the NIH P30 Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Rustgi is also the leader of the Tumor Biology Program at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, and director of the Joint Center for Digestive, Liver, and Pancreatic Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As a leader in the field of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer research, Rustgi has made seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of several major GI cancers, notably esophageal, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. Rustgi is the former president of the American Gastroenterology Association and serves on the advisory boards of several non-profit cancer-focused organizations. 

Stephen D. Ryan
Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group

Mr. Ryan is a senior vice president with Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group. He has over 25 years of financial industry experience as a senior executive of a private wealth management team specializing in investment management, legacy planning, and investment advisory services.  He currently serves on the board of trustees of Clarkson University, including appointments to the Executive and Compensation Committee, the Investment Committee, and as chairman of the Governance Committee.

Charles L. Sawyers, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Sawyers is chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His research efforts are currently centered on investigating the signaling pathways that drive the growth of cancer cells, with an eye toward designing new treatment options for patients. Dr. Sawyers is co-leader of the Stand Up To Cancer Prostate Cancer Dream Team, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and sits on the National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Advisory Board and the board of directors of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He was the president of the AACR in 2013-14.

Ellen V. Sigal, PhD
Friends of Cancer Research

Dr. Sigal is the founder and chair of Friends of Cancer Research, a cancer research think tank and advocacy organization. She also serves as vice chair of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, on the board of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and on the board of governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Dr. Sigal holds leadership positions with many cancer-focused advocacy groups including the MD Anderson Cancer Center External Advisory Board, the Duke University Cancer Center Board of Overseers, and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Council.
Geoffrey M. Wahl, PhD
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Dr. Wahl is a professor and Daniel and Martina Lewis Chair of the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His research focuses on the signal transduction pathways that ensure the control of genetic stability in normal cells, as well as on identifying, isolating, and characterizing the cells that initiate cancer. Dr. Wahl is a principal investigator on the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team and served as the president of the AACR in 2006-07. 

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300