Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to announce that 20 AACR members, including two Past Presidents, three Fellows of the AACR Academy, and three Board of Directors members, have been selected for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Blue Ribbon Panel that will inform the scientific direction and goals under Vice President Joe Biden's national cancer initiative.

The 28-member panel, comprised of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and distinguished patient advocates, will serve as a working group of the presidentially appointed National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and will provide scientific guidance from thought leaders in the cancer community.

"These appointments are a testament to the tremendous contributions that these AACR members are making to advancing cancer research," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The 20 AACR members who have been selected for this prestigious and important role are innovative scientists and dedicated leaders in the community who have been instrumental in accelerating the translation of basic scientific observations into clinical progress that is benefiting patients today. They have been invaluable in helping the AACR execute its mission, and I know that the National Cancer Institute's Blue Ribbon Panel will greatly benefit from their input."

The AACR will provide a global platform for Vice President Biden to expand on his vision when he delivers remarks on Wednesday, April 20, during the AACR Annual Meeting, "Highlights 2016: Vision for the Future" Plenary Session, which will also be available via live webcast.

Prior to the announcement of Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, 15 distinguished AACR leaders and members representing 10 medical institutions and nine states met with Biden's staff  on date to discuss areas of considerable promise in cancer research including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and potential collaboration around big data, citing AACR's Project GENIE as an example. Shortly thereafter, Biden invited the AACR's president and two past presidents to provide their thoughts and guidance at a special session, "Cancer Moonshot: A Call to Action," at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Since then, Biden has continued to meet with AACR members as he tours cancer centers throughout the United States.

AACR Member Blue Ribbon Panel Experts

Tyler Jacks, PhD (Co-Chair)
Past President; Fellow of the AACR Academy
Chair, National Cancer Advisory Board, and Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Elizabeth Jaffee, MD (Co-Chair)
Member, Board of Directors
Professor and Deputy Director for Translational Research, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

Dinah Singer, PhD (Co-Chair)
Acting Deputy Director and Division of Cancer Biology Director, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

Peter Adamson, MD
Professor and Director, Experimental Therapeutics in Oncology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

James Allison, PhD
Fellow of the AACR Academy; Member, Board of Directors
Professor and Chair of Immunology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Mary Beckerle, PhD
Member, Board of Directors
CEO and Director, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City

Mitch Berger, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco

Jeff Bluestone, PhD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, San Francisco

James Downing, MD
President and CEO, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee

Levi Garraway, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Gad Getz, PhD
Director, Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lifang Hou, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago

Maria Elena Martinez, PhD
Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, Reducing Cancer Disparities Program, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Edith Mitchell, MD
Professor of Medical Oncology and Associate Director for Diversity Services, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia

Augusto Ochoa, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University, New Orleans

Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD
Professor of Oncology, Professor of Biochemistry, and Director, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Charles Sawyers, MD
Past President; Fellow of the AACR Academy
Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York

Ellen Sigal, PhD
Founder and Chair, Friends of Cancer Research, Washington, D.C.

Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Director, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Wai-Kwan Alfred Yung, MD
Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Chair of Clinical Cancer Care, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston