Nav: Home

Van Andel Institute scientist elected to National Academy of Sciences to advise nation on medical and epigenomic policy and direction

May 03, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 3, 2016)--Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) Chief Scientific Officer Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., today joined the nation's elite scientists as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the second VARI scientist elected into the academy, and joins molecular oncologist George Vande Woude, Ph.D., who has been a member of the Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology section since 1993.

"I am honored and humbled to be elected into this historic and important society," said Dr. Jones. "That our distinguished peers voted to recognize our work signals that Van Andel Institute is breaking ground in the search for new approaches to cancer treatment and novel ways to alleviate the suffering imposed by this insidious disease."

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by then-President Abraham Lincoln as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine) were founded under the NAS charter in 1964 and 1970, respectively. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

Announcement of the academy's newest members occurred today during the academy's 153rd annual meeting. Eighty-four members and 21 foreign associates were elected for their outstanding contributions to research.

Dr. Jones specializes in a promising and expanding field of cancer research called epigenomics. He was among the discipline's early adopters, and his career includes a litany of firsts in biomedical research, including:
  • publication of the first study to prove how epigenetics regulates cellular differentiation
  • development of a class of drugs called DNA methylation inhibitors DNMTis (also called hypomethylating agents); one of these drugs is now in a Phase 3 clinical trial
  • discovery that epigenetics plays a fundamental role in aging
  • elucidation of the biological processes for cellular self-control
  • identification of ways to manipulate endogenous retroviruses at the root of some cancers
  • co-founding the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Epigenetics Dream Team and the Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team with Stephen Baylin, M.D., Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Oncology Department and co-head of Cancer Biology at Johns Hopkins University's Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as a professor at VARI
Epigenetics Dream Team and the Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team with Stephen Baylin, M.D., Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Oncology Department and co-head of Cancer Biology at Johns Hopkins University's Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as a professor at VARI

The election of Dr. Jones into the National Academy of Sciences is the latest honor for Van Andel Institute scientists. The Institute is also home to:

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 350 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI's research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute's scientists work in onsite laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Learn more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®

Van Andel Research Institute

Related Cancer Articles:

Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread identified
Osaka University researchers revealed that the metabolite D-2-hydroxyglurate (D-2HG) promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer cells, leading them to develop features of lower adherence to neighboring cells, increased invasiveness, and greater likelihood of metastatic spread.
UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age.
UH Cancer Center researchers develop algorithm to find precise cancer treatments
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers developed a computational algorithm to analyze 'Big Data' obtained from tumor samples to better understand and treat cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...