VARI-affiliated cancer researcher Stephen Baylin, M.D., has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is the third VARI-affiliated scientist elected into the Academy—VARI Chief Scientific Officer Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc. was elected last year, and VARI’s Founding Research Director George Vande Woude, Ph.D., has been a member since 1993.
Election into the 2,250-member society is widely considered among the world’s most prestigious marks of achievement. The National Academy of Sciences has been delivering independent, objective counsel to the federal government since its creation by Congressional charter during the United States Civil War.
Baylin holds an appointment as Director’s Scholar and professor in the Center of Epigenetics at VARI. He also is a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and co-director for the Cancer Biology program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Together with Jones, Baylin serves as co-leader of the Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer (VARI-SU2C) Epigenetics Dream Team, a multimillion-dollar international collaboration that orchestrates clinical trials using epigenetic therapies to treat a variety of solid-organ and hematological cancers. The VARI-SU2C team currently is conducting four clinical trials that are investigating potential new therapies for colorectal cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Baylin’s election into the National Academy of Sciences is the latest in a string of honors for Van Andel Institute-affiliated scientists. In addition to three members of the Academy, the Institute also is home to:
- Three fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy, including Vande Woude, Jones and Baylin;
- Three members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, including cancer epigenetics researcher Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D., Vande Woude and Jones; and
- Two members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, including Vande Woude and Jones
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