March 22, 2022

VUMC’s Pietenpol, Shyr named AACR Fellows

Vanderbilt’s Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, and Yu Shyr, PhD, have been inducted as fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy.

Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has inducted Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, and Yu Shyr, PhD, into the 2022 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy.

The mission of the AACR Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. Fellows of the AACR Academy serve as a global brain trust of top contributors to cancer science and medicine who help advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy and funding for cancer research.

Pietenpol, the Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and holder of the Brock Family Directorship in Career

Yu Shyr, PhD

Development, Executive Vice President for Research for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and professor of Biochemistry, focuses on breast cancer, translational molecular genetics and tumor suppressors.

The AACR cited her work “For seminal contributions to the understanding of p53 protein family function (p53, p63, and p73) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) including the development of techniques to analyze p53 family-chromatin binding, deciphering the p63 and p73 cistrome, discovering that p73 is required for multiciliogenesis and ovarian folliculogenesis, and integrating molecular genetics and bioinformatics to develop and implement novel analytical methods to molecularly subtype difficult-to-treat TNBC.”

Shyr, the Harold L Moses Professor in Cancer Research, chair of the Department of Biostatistics, and professor of Biostatistics, Biomedical Informatics and Health Policy, focuses on data science, biostatistics and bioinformatics.

The AACR cited his work “For leading contributions to the establishment and optimization of statistical and bioinformatic methods by which to collect and analyze genomic sequencing data, and for significant contributions to data science that have led to the establishment of research protocols and methodologies critical for clinical trial design and multi-dimensional genomic data processing.”

They are among 33 new fellows of the AACR Academy.

All fellows are nominated and elected through an annual, multi-step peer-review process conducted by existing fellows of the AACR Academy and ratified by the AACR Academy Steering Committee and AACR Executive Committee in conjunction with the AACR Academy Nomination and Election Oversight Committee. This process involves a rigorous assessment of each candidate’s scientific accomplishments in cancer research and cancer-related sciences. Only individuals whose work has had a significant and enduring impact on cancer research are considered for election and induction into the AACR Academy.

“These individuals from across the globe have all made quintessential contributions to cancer research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, chief executive officer of the AACR. “The 2022 class consists of various luminaries who span the gamut of scientific disciplines. Collectively, their work has significantly accelerated the pace of progress against cancer and has served as an inspiration for countless cancer researchers. We are honored to have them join our 256 existing Fellows and look forward to celebrating their individual scientific achievements.”