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Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, has been named President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She will succeed William R. Brody, MD, PhD, assuming the new role January 1, leaving her current position at University of California, San Francisco as Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.


"Few scientists garner the kind of admiration and respect that Dr. Blackburn receives from her peers for her scientific accomplishments and her leadership, service, and integrity," Irwin M. Jacobs, Chairman of Salk's Board of Trustees, said in a news release. "Her deep insight as a scientist, her vision as a leader, and her warm personality will prove invaluable as she guides the Salk Institute."

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Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009, sharing it with sharing it with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, for the discovery of the molecular nature of telomeres and for co-discovering telomerase, both of which are thought to play central roles in aging and cancer.


Blackburn has won numerous other scientific awards, and is a member of several scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of London. She has served as president of both the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society for Cell Biology; and she has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including Cell and Science.


Since 2001, Blackburn has been a Salk non-resident fellow, one of a group of leading scientists who advise the Institute's leadership and play key decision-making roles in the appointment and promotion of Salk professors.


Francis Giles, MD, has been appointed Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Giles joined the faculty of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in 2013 and since then has led the launch and growth of the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute, which gives patients access to novel therapies. And he started the NMDTI Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship that offers a mentorship environment for clinical investigators.


"Frank is an outstanding oncologist, a seasoned leader, and a visionary investigator," Douglas Vaughan, MD, Chair and the Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine at Northwestern, said in a news release. "He has created and built a vibrant program in developmental therapeutics here at Northwestern in two short years. I am certain he will be able to foster the growth and success of our Hematology/Oncology Division in all areas."

FRANCIS GILES, MD. F... - Click to enlarge in new windowFRANCIS GILES, MD. FRANCIS GILES, MD

In 2014, Giles was appointed Deputy Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where he leads clinical research activities. He has led the development of novel drugs, immunotherapies, and other targeted approaches, including cancer-directed viruses, monoclonal antibodies and molecularly directed agents.


He has served as principal investigator on numerous national and international clinical studies and holds numerous patents and technology licenses. He is a fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and the Royal College of Pathologists. He has also previously served as Director of the Institute for Drug Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, as well as in other roles at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and at UCLA.


Peter A. Kanetsky, PhD, MPH, Chair and Program Leader of Cancer Epidemiology at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been elected President for the American Society of Preventive Oncology. He will serve as President-elect before taking the post of President in March 2017. Kanetsky has previously served on the executive committee of ASPO.


Kanetsky's research focuses on inherited genetics and the manner in which genes and the environment interact to influence the development of melanoma and testicular germ cell tumors. He also investigates how inherited genetics relate to and inform disease progression including somatic genetics and metabolomics and longer-term survival outcomes.


He currently holds federal funding from the National Cancer Institute that supports, in part, the ongoing research of two large, international consortia: GenoMEL, an international melanoma genetics consortium; and TECAC, an international testicular cancer consortium.

PETER A. KANETSKY, P... - Click to enlarge in new windowPETER A. KANETSKY, PHD, MPH. PETER A. KANETSKY, PHD, MPH

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