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National Foundation for Cancer Research Appoints Brain Cancer Charity CEO, Renowned Cancer Researcher, and Dermatology Professor as Newest Board Members

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Maryland – The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) has announced three new experts in their fields will be joining the Board of Directors. The new appointments include Mr. Lance Kawaguchi, CEO of Australian charity Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones, renowned breast cancer researcher, and Dr. Karen Burke, dermatologist and research scientist. These appointments will bring new and unique perspectives to the leadership of the Foundation, creating new collaborations and partnerships to the benefit of the global cancer community.

NFCR is a not-for-profit organization that provides scientists with the funding they need to make game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention and ultimately, a cure. NFCR has distinguished itself in the cancer research sector by emphasizing long-term, transformative research often overlooked by other major funding sources. NFCR also established the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund to accelerate the translation of cancer drug discoveries by funding start-up oncology companies that commercialize innovative laboratory breakthroughs which can potentially save cancer patients’ lives.

“We are honored that three highly knowledgeable and esteemed individuals, in their respective fields, have agreed to join the NFCR board,” says President and Chief Executive Officer at NFCR, Sujuan Ba. “They bring a great perspective and expertise to help guide our transformation in the new era of innovative cancer research and breakthrough new therapies in our effort to improve outcomes for those affected by cancer around the world.”

Internationally recognized leader and CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Mr. Lance Kawaguchi, said, “NFCR has been around for 50 years and invested almost $400 million (USD) in funding for cancer research and education. Their support for early-stage biotechs and establishment of the visionary AIM-HI Accelerator Fund demonstrates NFCR’s absolute commitment to accelerate new cancer treatments as quickly as possible – a commitment I am wholeheartedly aligned with.”

Mr. Kawaguchi is an executive leader and board member, with over 25 years of global finance and banking experience, including living and working throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. He is committed to serving the brain cancer community, rapidly driving outcomes, and taking measures to ensure more treatment options for patients, a better quality of life, and ultimately a cure for this disease. His demonstrated passion for the biotech sector will bolster NFCR’s commitment to accelerate the translation of cancer drug discoveries through the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund.

Dr. Leyland-Jones, best known for leading major changes in breast cancer clinical trials and treatments, as well as his ongoing focus on how genomics plays a vital role in the fight against breast cancer, shared, “I am honored to be appointed to such a prestigious organization.

Dr. Leyland-Jones has served as an instrumental leader of three cancer centers and held positions as Founding Chair of Oncology and Director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre; Director of the Winship Cancer Centre and Associate Vice-President of Health Sciences at Emory University; Vice President of the Molecular and Experimental Medicine Genomics Medicine Program at the Avera Cancer Institute. Additionally, he founded three companies including AKESOgen, Inc., Xanthus Pharmaceuticals Ltd., and Viviphi Ltd.

Dr. Karen Burke is a dermatologist and research scientist in the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Following her PhD in biophysics from Cornell University, she completed postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University. She earned her MD at New York University Medical College with residency in dermatology. Dr. Burke shared, “It is an honor to join the board, and I am thrilled to do so alongside two remarkable leaders in their fields. Coming together with such innovative minds, I am hopeful for the future of cancer research.”

NFCR’s Chair of the Board, Judith Barnhard said, “We are thrilled to announce that Mr Kawaguchi, Dr Leyland-Jones and Dr Burke will be adding to the collective expertise of the board. These appointments demonstrate the importance of collaborating globally, creating strong partnerships, and looking to the future of cancer research. Together, we will make a real difference in the world.”

NFCR was founded in 1973 to support cancer research and public education relating to the prevention, early diagnosis, better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for cancer. NFCR is committed to fighting cancer by funding high-risk, high-impact, and potentially high-reward discoveries in the labs and transforming them into life-saving treatments for cancer patients. Through global collaboration, NFCR is making unique impact on a new and accelerated path to cures. Welcoming these three highly established individuals to the Board of Directors reflects this commitment and will strengthen our efforts to achieve our vision of a world without cancer. 

About NFCR

The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) nonprofit organization that provides scientists in the lab the funding they need to make game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention and ultimately, a cure. NFCR has distinguished itself in the cancer research sector by emphasizing long-term, transformative research often overlooked by other major funding sources. With the help of more than 5.3 million individual donors over the last 49 years, NFCR has delivered more than $390 million in funding to public education and cancer research leading to several important, life-saving discoveries.

About Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is an Australian-based organisation, who is working globally to rapidly improve brain cancer survival. The Foundation’s mission is to unite the community and rapidly increase brain cancer survival, improving quality of life for people impacted by the disease, with a vision to ultimately find a cure for brain cancer. We’ll achieve this by empowering people living with brain cancer to have a strong influential voice, while raising awareness and funding for innovative research to accelerate quality treatments to patients.