The rapid ascent of NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center to a position of leadership in academic cancer research was further validated with the election of one of its principal architects to the board of the country’s premier scientific association dedicated to cancer.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has announced that Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for science and chief scientific officer at NYU Langone, has been named to its Board of Directors for a three-year term formally commencing at the AACR’s annual meeting held April 16-20, 2016. As a member of the AACR Board, Dr. Bar-Sagi joins an impressive list of international leaders and scientists from the top academic medical institutions and cancer research organizations across the country and around the world.
“The entire NYU Langone Medical Center community, notably the physicians, researchers, and staff at our Perlmutter Cancer Center, join in extending congratulations to Dr. Bar-Sagi on this important appointment,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone. “It acknowledges Dr. Bar-Sagi’s life’s work and important contributions to the field of cancer research, particularly to the study of cancer cell growth and tumor development. And, as one of the leaders of our Perlmutter Cancer Center, her election to the AACR Board also acknowledges our institution’s increasingly important role in advancing cancer research and discovery.”
Since joining NYU Langone’s executive team, Dr. Bar-Sagi has dedicated considerable time and effort to advance cancer research at the medical center. Most recently, working in partnership with the Perlmutter Cancer Center leadership, she has helped enhance its research portfolio and recruit some of the brightest minds in cancer research and clinical care to NYU Langone.
“Dr. Bar-Sagi’s role in our expansion and recruitment efforts has been tremendously important,” says Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center and a former member of the AACR Board. “Her leadership, as well as her contributions in the laboratory, is helping us advance our mission to cure cancer in our lifetime.”
One of the Country’s Leading Cancer Biologists
As a researcher, Dr. Bar-Sagi is widely known for elucidating cellular pathways involved in controlling cell growth. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers in leading journals on the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor development, devoting considerable research to Ras proteins, essential control elements of molecular machineries that drive the oncogenic process in many human cancers.
Prior to joining NYU Langone in 2006 as chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Bar-Sagi headed the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and her PhD from SUNY Stony Brook. Dr. Bar-Sagi was appointed senior vice president and vice dean for science and chief scientific officer in July 2011.
Dr. Bar-Sagi’s primary administrative responsibilities are to develop strategies for building science at NYU Langone, including developing and refining departmental structures, enhancing core facilities and support services, and serving as an advocate for research within the medical center and externally.
Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes 35,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers, population scientists, other healthcare professionals, and patient advocates residing in 104 countries.
“I am extremely honored to represent NYU Langone and its Perlmutter Cancer Center on the Board of Directors of AACR,” says Dr. Bar-Sagi. “We have made tremendous strides in understanding and treating cancer, and we are on the cusp of what I fervently believe will be extraordinary breakthroughs over the next several years. It is my goal to help AACR play an important role in advancing understanding and advocacy to achieve these objectives.”