Three Yale Pathology faculty members were honored for their contributions to cancer research and education during the Yale Cancer Center Annual Conclave on February 15, 2022.
The Yale Cancer Center Award for Basic Science 2021, which recognizes excellence in the area of basic cancer research, was awarded to Marcus Bosenberg, MD, PhD, and Qin Yan, PhD, for their research into KDM5B, a key enzyme in epigenetics.
The Yale Cancer Center Award for Teaching Excellence 2021 was presented to David F. Stern, PhD, for ensuring his trainees acquire the skills they need to become outstanding health practitioners, scientists, and researchers.
Dr. Bosenberg is Professor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Immunobiology; Co-Leader, Cancer Immunology, Yale Cancer Center; Director, Yale Center for Immuno-Oncology; Director, Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer. Dr. Yan is Associate Professor of Pathology; Co-Leader, Genomics, Genetics and Epigenetics Research Program; Director, Center for Epigenetic and Biomarkers, Pathology; Scientific Co-Director, Center for Breast Cancer.
In an October 2021 article in Nature, Drs. Yan and Bosenberg and their research teams showed that KDM5B’s key role in maintaining melanoma is to suppress immune responses to cancer. They found that when they remove the enzyme in mouse models of melanoma, they saw robust immuno-responses against the tumor and better responses to immune checkpoint blockade, said Yale Cancer Center Deputy Director Mark A. Lemmon, PhD, FRS, in presenting the award.
“The results really reveal a new aspect in epigenetic control and anti-tumor immunity,” Dr. Lemmon said. “It’s really terrific work.”
Dr. Stern is Professor of Pathology; Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Sciences, Pathology; Associate Cancer Center Director, Shared Resources; Co-Leader, Cancer Signaling Networks, Yale Cancer Center. In presenting the award to Dr. Stern, Harriet Kluger, MD, Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Associate Cancer Center Director for Education and Training, said he was “incredibly modest and understated.”
Dr. Kluger continued by sharing that Dr. Stern “is beloved by all” at the Cancer Center and noted that he started the Yale Cancer Biology Training Program.
“He’s essentially transformed cancer research training for basic scientists by incorporating clinical aspects into their training,” Dr. Kluger said. “Many of our amazing researchers took his classes as PhD students” and have “climbed the ladder at Yale Cancer Center and achieved greatness themselves.”