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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Companies Brands Award in Memory of Evelyn H. Lauder

Area(s) of Focus

Lewis C. Cantley, PhD

Meyer Director
Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College/
Ronald P. Stanton Clinical Cancer Program at NewYork-Presbyterian
Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor in Oncology Research
Professor of Cancer Biology in Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College
New York, New York

Current Research

Dr. Cantley’s research focuses on understanding the biochemical pathways that regulate normal cell growth and the defects that cause cell transformation leading to cancer. Work by his laboratory led to the discovery of a growth signaling molecule called phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), now known to be a major player in tumor growth.  Using specialized models of triple negative and BRCA1 breast cancers developed in his laboratory, Dr. Cantley and BCRF colleague, Dr. Gerburg Wulf are testing the effects of combining PI3K inhibitors with emerging new drugs. In the last year they completed large-scale pre-clinical studies to determine patterns of resistance at the gene level and identified distinct genetic changes that may cause resistance to PI3K- and PARP-inhibition. Over the coming year, they will build on these studies to design targeted therapies based on the genetic changes in individual tumors.  In addition, in light of recent advances using immuno-therapies, they will expand these studies to test the efficacy of combined targeted therapy with immune modulation.  The overall goal of this work is to fine-tune treatment regimens to include multiple druggable targets simultaneously to achieve better efficacy in triple negative and BRCA1 breast cancers.


Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, is the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor and Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College/Ronald P. Stanton Clinical Cancer Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Cantley grew up in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1971. He obtained a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University in 1975 and did postdoctoral training at Harvard University. Prior to taking the position at Weill Cornell, he taught and did research in biochemistry, physiology and cancer biology in Boston, most recently at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. His laboratory discovered the PI 3-Kinase pathway that plays a critical role in insulin signaling and in cancers.

Dr. Cantley was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2014, to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. Among his other awards are the ASBMB Avanti Award for Lipid Research in 1998, the Heinrich Wieland Preis for Lipid Research in 2000, the Caledonian Prize from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2002, the 2005 Pezcoller Foundation–AACR International Award for Cancer Research, the 2009 Rolf Luft Award for Diabetes and Endocrinology Research from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, the 2011 Pasrow Prize for Cancer Research, the 2013 Breakthrough in Life Sciences Prize and the 2013 Jacobaeus Prize for Diabetes Research from the Karolinska Institute and the 2015 AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship.

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