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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Meredith Israel Thomas Award

Area(s) of Focus

William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD

Professor of Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and
Brigham and Women’s Hospital,
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Current Research

Enzymes are proteins that accelerate chemical reactions in cells. They can often be inhibited with drug-like chemicals and hence are popular targets for drug development. Dr. Kaelin’s laboratory studies a large family of enzymes called “dioxygenases". In his ongoing BCRF studies, he has made several discoveries connecting the activities of a dioxygenase called EglN2 to tumor cell growth, drug resistance and metastasis (spreading of the tumor to other sites). He will continue his work to better understand how EglN2 works and to identify potential therapeutic targets to block its effects. Studies are in progress to test multiple targets that may be particularly important in triple negative breast cancer.


William G. Kaelin, Jr., obtained his undergraduate and MD degrees from Duke University and completed training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident. He was a clinical fellow in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and later a postdoctoral fellow David Livingston’s laboratory, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and Chair of the Executive Committee for Research at Dana-Farber.

Dr. Kaelin is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American College of Physicians. He recently served on the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, the AACR Board of Trustees, and the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Board. He is a recipient of the Paul Marks Prize for cancer research from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Rosenthal Prize from the AACR, and a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist award. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences and was a recipient of the Gairdner Award. In 2012, he was a co-recipient of the ASCI’s Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award and the Scientific Grand Prix (Foundation Lefoulon-Delalande and the Institute of France). This year, Dr. Kaelin became an Elected Fellow of the AACR Academy and was awarded the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences.