The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC CancerCenter, as their president-elect for 2015-2016. She will officially become president-elect at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, to be held in Philadelphia, April 18 to 22, and will assume the presidency in April 2016.
Dr. Davidson is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher whose work focuses on clinical and translational breast cancer research, cancer biology and treatment, and the role of apoptosis and mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of gene expression of the estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) gene in breast cancer treatment.
She will work collaboratively with the AACR board of directors and the AACR membership, which includes more than 35,000 members in 101 countries, to further the association’s mission to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication and collaboration.
“With deaths from cancer declining and the number of cancer survivors on the rise, this is an exciting time in cancer research and care. I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with AACR and its members on our singular focus to advance scientific discoveries that can translate to exceptional patient care,” said Dr. Davidson, who also is distinguished professor of medicine and pharmacology and chemical biology, associate vice chancellor for cancer research, Hillman professor of oncology, and professor at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and also adjunct professor of oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
“We are delighted that Dr. Davidson has been elected to serve as the next AACR president-elect,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “She is an acknowledged expert in breast cancer research whose clinical and translational work has had a profound impact on the lives of patients. Dr. Davidson will lead the association with much energy and dedication, and it will be an honor to work with her to make further strides in our mission to prevent and cure all cancers.”
Dr. Davidson has been actively involved in the AACR since 1988. She is an editorial board member of Cancer Prevention Research and has served on numerous other boards and committees, the most recent of which are:
- Member of the AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research Award Committee (2012)
- Chair (2011) and member (2010) of the Nominating Committee
- Member of the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research Committee (2010)
- Member of the Continuing Medical Education Committee (2009 to 2014)
- Chair of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation-AACR Grants for Translational Breast Cancer Research Scientific Review Committee (2009)
- Member of the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research Committee (2009)
- Chair (2008 to 2010) and member (2005) of the Research Grant Review Committee
- Member of the Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants Scientific Review Committee (2008 to 2009)
- Member of the Scientific Program Committee for the AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research (2008)
- Member of the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Committee (2005)
- Elected by the membership as a member of the AACR board of directors (2002 to 2005)
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 has led clinical trials involving chemotherapy and endocrine-related therapies for treating premenopausal breast cancer and has increased the understanding of the potential of angiogenesis inhibitors, such as bevacizumab, for treating metastatic breast cancer.
She has been recognized with myriad honors and awards throughout her career, including:
- AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship
- Potamkin Award from the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition
- Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
- Distinguished Alumna Award from Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association
- Rosaline E. Franklin Award for Women in Science from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. Davidson is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American College of Physicians. She also is a past president and former board member of ASCO and currently serves as a member of the scientific advisory committee of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the scientific advisory board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, Dr. Davidson was professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Breast Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. Early in her career, she was a research assistant professor of pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.
Dr. Davidson received a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston. She completed an internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also served as a medical staff fellow at the NCI.