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The one hundred honoree: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD

Innovation Story

The one hundred honoree: Lewis C. Cantley, PhD

Mass General Giving

Lewis Cantley, PhD, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the William Bosworth Castle Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, is a world-renowned scientist who studies the mechanisms by which cells respond to growth signals.

Among his discoveries is the central role of the PI3K gene family in the proliferation of cells. PI3K is commonly activated in cancer and is now the target of new drugs being developed at many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Known for his visionary insights and collaborative style, Dr. Cantley leads one of the five scientific “dream teams” awarded grants from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the entertainment industry’s charitable initiative to accelerate development of groundbreaking cancer treatments.

Dr. Cantley’s team works with more than 20 esteemed scientists at leading cancer research institutions to investigate the role of PI3K mutations in breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. The team intends to develop new approaches that accurately predict which patients will respond positively to a set of PI3K pathway inhibitors now undergoing nationwide clinical trials. “Dr. Cantley is an inspiration to all of us doing cancer research,” says Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the Mass General Cancer Center. “His bold discoveries have opened up entirely new areas that are now the subject of basic, translational and clinical research across the world. His exceptional collaborative and engaging style has motivated scores of young scientists who now work together toward this common goal.”