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Yale Cancer Center’s Dr. Lieping Chen Elected to Prestigious National Academy of Sciences

April 26, 2021

As one of the highest honors in the scientific field, Lieping Chen, MD, PhD, United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research, Professor of Immunobiology, Dermatology, and of Medical Oncology, and Co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at Yale Cancer Center, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Chen was one of 120 new members honored for 2021, including 59 women and 30 international members, in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. There were three additional members elected from Yale University.

“I am pleased to welcome all of our new members, and I look forward to engaging with them in the work of the National Academies,” said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt in an online announcement.

Chen is internationally recognized for his leadership in the field of PD-L1 biology. His work has provided an important foundation for the subsequent development of immunotherapies to enable more effective immune responses against cancer. Chen also initiated and helped organize the first-in-man clinical trial of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody for treating human cancer in 2006 and developed PD-L1 staining as a biomarker. His discoveries directly led to the development of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody therapy against broad spectrum of human cancers, which has revolutionized cancer treatment.

“Dr. Chen’s impact on the scientific community, particularly concerning cancer research and immunotherapy, has been immeasurable,” said Nita Ahuja, MD, MBA, FACS, Interim Director of Yale Cancer Center and Physician-in-Chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital, William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery, and Chair of Surgery. “We are so proud to celebrate Dr. Chen’s election to the National Academy of Sciences; he joins 15 other members of Yale Cancer Center as part of this prestigious organization.”

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Submitted by Anne Doerr on April 26, 2021