New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
May 1, 2018
Damon Runyon alumni elected to prestigious National Academy of Sciences

Two Damon Runyon alumni were elected to the National Academy of Sciences (the science “Hall of Fame”), one of the highest honors that can be earned by a U.S. scientist. Being elected into this prestigious group of scientists recognizes their distinguished and continuing achievements in biomedical research. This brings the total number of Damon Runyon scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences to 74.
Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘12-‘14) of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, is a pioneer in developing the CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit genomes in living cells, including human. CRISPR is turbo-charging research in labs around the world, being used to understand the molecular mechanisms of diseases such as cancer and hereditary diseases, diagnose infectious diseases, and explore gene-edited food. 

"I am thrilled to join this terrific community of thought-leaders, many of whom have mentored or inspired me. The support from the Damon Runyon Foundation was instrumental in our work, and having it recognized by this amazing group of scientists is such an honor.”
Roger J. Davis, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ’83-‘84) of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worchester, is investigating the underlying mechanisms of how inflammation contributes to diabetes, cancer, and stroke. His studies have led to the discovery of new genes, which play a role in these devastating diseases and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. 

“My recent election to the National Academy is an honor that would not have happened without that initial support from Damon Runyon. The postdoctoral fellowship was critical for completing my training and provided a foundation for my research career.”