OHSU'S Cancer Institute Leukemia Leader Brian Druker Is Elected To National Academy Of Sciences

04/03/11  Portland, Ore.

Brian Druker, M.D., leukemia program leader for the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute, has been elected to the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology, and to their use for the general welfare. President Abraham Lincoln signed the academy into being in 1863.

The academy comprises approximately 2,000 members and 350 foreign associates, more than 200 of whom have won Nobel Prizes. Members and foreign associates of the academy are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research; election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors accorded a scientist or engineer.

“Grover quote: (Should Joe Robertson also be quoted? In my opinion, yes/TH. Or who else?)Brian Druker is an outstanding scientist, physician, teacher and human being whose work ignited what has now become a revolution in cancer treatment,” said Grover Bagby, M.D., director of the OHSU Cancer Institute. “I know not a single individual in academic medicine who deserves this honor more.”  

Druker is one of the world's leading scientists and clinicians. He was the first to prove that molecularly targeted therapy works. Gleevec was the first pill proved successful in stopping chronic myeloid leukemia, an often deadly form of cancer. His work has spurred further cancer drug development for an array of cancers, revolutionizing cancer treatment.

Druker is the JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at the OHSU Cancer Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. In 2003 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Oregon Health & Science University now is home to three distinguished academy members:

•Wolfard Almers, Ph.D., adjunct professor of biochemistry and molecular biology,

OHSU Vollum Institute researcher, elected last year, will be inducted this year

• Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the OHSU Vollum Institute, professor of cell and developmental biology, and medicine (endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition) was elected five years ago.

“Being a member of the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest honors that can be given to an American scientist. It is a highly significant accomplishment,” said Richard Goodman, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and B.F. Skinner are among a few of the famous scientists elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The OHSU Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center between Sacramento and Seattle. It comprises some 120 clinical researchers, basic scientists and population scientists who work together to translate scientific discoveries into longer and better lives for Oregon's cancer patients. In the lab, basic scientists examine cancer cells and normal cells to uncover molecular abnormalities that cause the disease. This basic science informs more than 200 clinical trials conducted at the OHSU Cancer Institute.