Our process for scientific review and funding is based on twice-yearly LAM Summit meetings convened by Dr. Robert Langer as Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) chair and interim meetings between LAM Treatment Alliance executive director Amy Farber, the LAM Treatment Alliance SAB, and other relevant participants. The LAM Treatment Alliance Executive Director and SAB chair extend invitations to selected parties to submit proposals. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.
LAM Treatment Alliance Scientific Advisory Board Chair
Dr. Langer received his Bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in Chemical Engineering.
Professor Langer completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Folkman Lab at Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital and joined the MIT faculty in 1977. Professor Langer has done pioneering work in the use of biomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery, most recently applying nanotechnology to cancer for developing novel targeted strategies for cancer therapy.
Professor Langer has written over 1000 articles and has over 600 issued or pending patents worldwide. Dr.
Langer's patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 200 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and
medical device companies; a number of these companies were launched on the basis of these patent licenses.
He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration's SCIENCE Board, the FDA's highest
advisory board, from 1995 to 2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002. Professor Langer is one of 14
Institute Professors at MIT and is one of very few people ever elected to all three United States National
Academies and the youngest in history (at age 43) to ever receive this distinction.
Tribute to LTA SAB Chair, NATURE, 3/09
Dr. Cantley obtained a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from Cornell University in 1975. He did postdoctoral research at Harvard from 1975 until 1978 and joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard as an Assistant Professor in 1978. In 1985, he was appointed Professor of Physiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. In 1992 he returned to Harvard as Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Signal Transduction at Beth Israel Hospital. He is a founding member of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Signal Transduction at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and is now Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center. Dr. Cantley conducts research on the molecular basis for cancer and metabolic diseases using biochemical, cell biological and animal-based studies.
Dr. Cantley was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. Among his other awards are the ASBMB Avanti Award for Lipid Research (1998), the Heinrich Weiland Preis for Lipid Research (2000) the Caledonian Prize from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2002) and the Pezcoller Award for Cancer Research (2005).
Dr. George Demetri received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard College and medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine before completing his Internal Medicine residency and Chief Residency at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle. He then completed his Fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he has served as an Attending Physician since 1989.
Dr. Demetri is the Co-Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology in the Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He is a member of several professional societies and editorial boards, as well as the executive medical advisory board for CancerSource.com. Dr. Demetri's research and clinical interests have focused on novel investigational strategies for the management of solid tumors, with a particular emphasis in sarcomas.
Please visit the tribute to Dr. Folkman, "A Cancer Warrior": http://www.standup2cancer.org/sutv
Dr. Folkman is the founder of the field of angiogenesis research. He has made seminal discoveries on the mechanism of angiogenesis, which have opened a field of investigation now pursued worldwide. Dr. Folkman's hypothesis (1971) that solid tumors are angiogenesis-dependent initiated studies of angiogenesis in tumor biology and in disciplines as diverse as developmental biology, ophthalmology and dermatology. His laboratory reported the first purified angiogenesis molecule, the first angiogenesis inhibitor and proposed the concept of angiogenic disease. All of these discoveries have been translated into numerous clinical trials. Angiogenesis inhibitors are now approved by the FDA in the U.S., and in 28 other countries.
Largely because of Dr.Folkman's research, the possibility of antiangiogenic therapy is now on a firm scientific foundation, not only in the treatment of cancer, but of many non-neoplastic diseases as well.
Dr. Folkman's exceptional achievements have been recognized by many national and international awards. In 1990, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Medicine. In addition to his distinguished accomplishments in research, Dr. Folkman has served as a surgeon and teacher. He began his career as an Instructor in Surgery for Harvard's Surgical Service at Boston City Hospital, was promoted to Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and became the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery in 1968. From 1967 he served as Surgeon-in-Chief at Children's Hospital Boston for 14 years. Dr. Folkman was also a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Vascular Biology Program in the Department of Surgery at Children's Hospital. He held honorary degrees from fifteen universities and is the author of 394 original peer-reviewed papers and 106 book chapters and monographs.
In December 2005, I was given a suspected diagnosis of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis or LAM - a fatal and progressive disease with no effective treatment, affecting women in their childbearing years. I had always been healthy and suddenly facing the prospect of premature death without treatment, my husband and I contacted Dr. Folkman. Dr. Folkman gave me the courage to seek out a definitive diagnosis and once I had that, he got to work.
He also gave me reason to fight. When I mourned the prospect of advocating for a disease that affected so few, Dr. Folkman trained me to see the bigger picture; the scientific and human value behind the fact that rare diseases teach us about common diseases and vice versa.
Dr. Folkman approached problems and tumors organically - he understood that body systems and processes, from the macroscopic to the molecular had something to teach us, if we listened. Although LAM is fatal in the lungs, LAM needed to be rigorously approached as a multi-system disease. LAM had not traditionally been thought of as a cancer but Dr. Folkman insisted that this should be the model. His vision motivated me to form the LAM Treatment Alliance and shaped our approach to fast-tracking LAM treatment research through fostering and aggressively funding leading-edge ideas across disciplines in the fastest time possible.
Dr. Folkman was an insatiably curious, brave and integrative thinker. He seemed genuinely honored to be an active member of the LAM Treatment Alliance’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Folkman supported various LAM research efforts in his lab and in the Vascular Biology program often using discretionary funds. He attended and actively participated in our research Summits and monthly inter-disciplinary meetings, even when, on the surface, they may have seemed off-topic. He helped us to make our case to interested donors over lab tours and dinners. Women with LAM were blessed by his fusion of curing and caring and the productive tension between his passion and respect for science and his compassion for individual people. As a result, Dr. Folkman palpably strived to keep research time and therapeutic time in lock-step. Dr. Folkman walked his talk and took the high road in the face of his own disappointment; uncertain consequences and unpopular next moves. Dr. Folkman generously passed on his gifts and has left us with an army of those he had mentored for decades. They will help us to keep his vision for LAM and so many other diseases alive.
Dr. Folkman kept his eye on the prize. He died with his boots on. I know that wherever he is right now, he is busy setting up his lab.
Amy Farber 1/15/08
Professor Gustafsson received his Bachelor of Medicine from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden in1964 and his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet in 1968. He received his M.D. in 1971, the same year he became Associate Professor in Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet. In 1976, Dr. Gustafsson became Professor of Chemistry, Karolinska Institute and then, in 1978, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg. He was appointed as Professor of Medical Nutrition and Chairman of the Department of Medical Nutrition, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm in1979. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition and Director of the Center for Biotechnology at the Karolinska Institutet.
Jan-Ake Gustafsson has made seminal contributions to the field of nuclear receptors, their structure and mechanism of action. He has published more than 1,000 articles, with findings ranging from the elucidation of the receptors' three-domain structure to the more recent discovery of a second estrogen receptor. Among other things, his published findings clarify the roles that each estrogen receptor plays in mammary cell proliferation and point toward possible new therapeutics for breast cancer. His prolific works have earned him numerous awards, including his 1997 election to the Swedish Academy of Sciences and the 2000 European Medal from the British Society for Endocrinology. In 2002, Gustafsson was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Lindahl has been Professor at Karolinska Institutet since 1990. He has been Director of Research and Education at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden since 2001.
Dr. Lindahl graduated from the Medical School at the University of Lund, Sweden in 1972.
He was board certified as a Pediatrician and Anesthesiologist/intensivist in1981. He received his PhD from the University of Lund in 1977. From 1986 to 1988 Dr. Lindahl was a Consultant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, USA. He returned to Lund as a Pediatric anesthesiologist/intensivist in 1989.
Dr. Lindahl was appointed Professor in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden in 1990 and from 1990 to 2001 also served as clinical chair of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at Karolinska Hospital. From 1993 to 2000 he also served as academic chair, Department of Surgical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet. Since 1996, Dr. Lindahl has been a permanent member of the Nobel Assembly for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He served as vice chair from 1999-2000. and chair from 2001-2002 of the Nobel Committee. Dr. Lindahl is currently a member of the Nobel Assembly and Committe and from 2006 also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation. Dr. Lindahl was previously the Chief of Research and Education at the Karolinska Institutet and Vice President of the Karolinska Hospital.
Dr. Shapiro is the Jack D. Myers Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Shapiro's scientific career has focused on understanding the biological functions of matrix degrading proteinases in general and COPD in particular. He has maintained his clinical interests while pursuing his research and still is involved in clinical care and teaching. Dr. Shapiro is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians - Fellows, American Thoracic Society, member (RCMB committee), American Society of Clinical Investigation - Member and American Association of Physicians - Member.