Mark A. Lemmon, PhD, Alfred Gilman Professor of Pharmacology, deputy director of Yale Cancer Center, and co-director of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, has been named chair of Yale School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology, effective July 1, 2023.
Lemmon’s interdisciplinary research has contributed substantially to understanding how the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signals at structural and mechanistic levels. Most recently, his lab’s work has focused on understanding how differential activation of the same growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase can promote different cell fates, underscoring the importance of signaling dynamics in defining cell fate and disease. He is also active in two of Yale’s Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) and collaborates on clinical research both at Yale and with colleagues at other academic health centers on such diseases as neuroblastoma, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer.
Recruited to Yale in 2015 to help build the Cancer Biology Institute (YCBI) at West Campus, Lemmon is implementing his vision of investigating networks at different scales that keep normal biology in check and have gone awry in cancer. He has recruited faculty spanning several departments with expertise in cell signaling, epitranscriptomics, quantitative proteomics, genome stability/DNA damage repair, and in vivo tumor initiation and evolution. At Yale Cancer Center, he has worked to recruit a cadre of physician scientists and to integrate the Cancer Center’s research programs and disease area research teams to stimulate the basic, clinical, and translational research communities.
As chair, Lemmon will actively promote diversity within the department and will build upon its current strong foundation by recruiting faculty with expertise in neuroscience, cardiovascular pharmacology, metabolism, immunology, systems pharmacology, computational studies, and chemical biology. He will seek to link the department with clinical activities and to foster connections with other initiatives across Yale.
After receiving his BA in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and his PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale, Lemmon completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at New York University Medical Center. Prior to returning to Yale, he was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine for nearly 20 years, serving as chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics from 2008 to 2015. He also is chair of the editorial board of Biochemical Journal and was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.
As chair, Lemmon will succeed Joseph Schessinger, PhD, who has led the Department of Pharmacology for more than two decades.