The members of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected Patricia M. LoRusso, DO, PhD (hc), as the AACR President-Elect for 2023-2024. Dr. LoRusso will become President-Elect on Monday, April 17, during the AACR’s Annual Business Meeting of Members at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023 in Orlando, Florida. She will assume the Presidency in April 2024 at the AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
Dr. LoRusso is a Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Chief of Experimental Therapeutics; Associate Cancer Center Director for Experimental Therapeutics; and Leader of the Phase I Disease Aligned Research Team at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital. An internationally recognized expert in drug development and early-phase clinical investigation of novel therapies, Dr. LoRusso’s innovative and tireless leadership has helped shape the field of translational and clinical cancer research and has greatly contributed to crucial therapeutic breakthroughs for patients with cancer.
As the AACR’s next President-Elect, Dr. LoRusso will work with the Officers and Directors of the AACR Board and the AACR membership at large, which includes more than 54,000 members in 130 countries, to further the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research.
“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to promote the AACR’s mission and advocate for the support of cancer research on behalf of all AACR members,” said Dr. LoRusso. “We are facing both exciting and challenging times in cancer research and cancer care delivery. It is critical for clinical research to keep pace with the unparalleled scientific discoveries that we are achieving if we are to reduce the suffering and mortality from cancer. Moreover, we must ensure that all patients have access to clinical trials. By bringing scientific discoveries into clinical trials and expanding the reach of trials to all populations, we will change the face of cancer. As AACR President, I look forward to championing the work of scientists, clinical trialists, clinicians, and patient advocates—all with an eye to improving the care we provide patients with cancer.”
“Dr. LoRusso is an extraordinary physician-scientist whose pioneering work has spanned basic, translational, and clinical cancer research and has led to paradigm shifts in the treatment of cancer,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “Additionally, she is a dedicated and supportive colleague and mentor whose years of service to the AACR have helped our organization grow in countless ways. The AACR and its global membership will benefit greatly from Dr. LoRusso’s vision, scientific expertise, and commitment to the AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers as she assumes this new leadership position. We heartily congratulate her on her election as the AACR’s 2023-2024 President-Elect and 2024-2025 President.”
Dr. LoRusso joined the AACR in 1988, served on the AACR Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018, and received the AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research in 2022. She currently serves with distinction as chair of the AACR Exploratory IND/Biomarker-Driven Clinical Trials Task Force; chair of the AACR-Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research Award Committee; and cochair of the AACR Precision Combination Therapy Task Force. She has been a member of the AACR Project GENIE External Advisory Board since its inception in 2015.
Dr. LoRusso’s extensive involvement with the AACR has also included serving as a member of the AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report Steering Committee (2022); member, AACR Education and Training Committee (2019-2022); member, AACR Nominating Committee (2019-2021); chair (2019-2020) and member (2018-2019), AACR Satellite Educational Symposia Committee; member, AACR June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism Judging Panel (2017-2020); member, AACR Continuing Medical Education Committee (2012-2014, 2017-2020); vice chair (2018-2019) and cochair (2013-2014, 2016-2017), AACR Annual Meeting Program Committee; member, AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee (2016-2019); codirector (2016-2018) and faculty member (2004, 2005, 2009-2012), AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop; faculty member, AACR Educational Workshop, “Australia & Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development” (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018); member, AACR Cancer Progress Report Steering Committee (2017); chair (2016-2017) and member (2012-2015), AACR Women in Cancer Research Council; chair, AACR Team Science Award Committee (2016-2017); cochair, AACR Annual Meeting Clinical Trials Committee (2012-2015); member, AACR Annual Meeting Exhibits Committee (2012-2014); member, AACR Clinical Research and Experimental Therapeutics Awards Selection Committee (2007-2009, 2012-2014); member, AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research Committee (2007-2009); member, AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award Committee (2007-2009); member, Scientific Review Committee, Second Annual International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development (2007); member, AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Lectureship Committee (2006); and member, Scientific Program Committee, AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (2003-2005).
Dr. LoRusso served on the editorial boards of the AACR journals Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (2012-2015) and Clinical Cancer Research (2011-2014). She was also coleader of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)-Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Melanoma Dream Team. The AACR serves as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer.
Throughout her career, Dr. LoRusso has received numerous honors and awards, including the World Affairs Council of Connecticut Luminary Award (2018); National Organization of Italian-American Women “Three Wise Women” honoree (2017); Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center the one hundred honoree (2014); ESMO Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) Honorary Award (2014); Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award (2014); Karmanos Cancer Institute Faculty Award for Clinical Excellence (2013); American College of Osteopathic Internists Researcher of the Year Award (2010); National Cancer Institute Michaele Christian Oncology Development Award (2008); Crain’s Detroit Business Heroes of Healthcare Award (2008); Marygrove College Distinguished Alumni Award (2008); Top Doctors honoree (2007, 2009, 2011-2013, 2018); and the Michigan Society for Medical Research Bennett J. Cohen Educational Leadership Award for Medical Research (2004). LoRusso received an honorary PhD from Michigan State University in 2015 and was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2022.
Dr. LoRusso received her undergraduate degree from Marygrove College and her doctor of osteopathic medicine from Michigan State University. Prior to her Yale appointment, she served in numerous leadership roles at Wayne State University’s Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, including as director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program and of the Eisenberg Center for Translational Therapeutics.