In recognition of her scientific work and contributions to the field of cancer research, the National Academy of Sciences today announced Oregon Health & Science University’s Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., was among 143 newly elected members. Membership is a widely recognized mark of excellence in science, and one of the highest honors that a scientist in the United States can receive.
Coussens’ research has focused on the role of immune cells in cancer and identifying new targets for therapies to block critical steps in the interactions between tumors and infiltrating immune cells. In particular, she has pioneered examining how the immune microenvironment impacts malignant cancer cells.
“Dr. Coussens’ contributions to the field of cancer biology and immunology have had a profound impact on our understanding of the importance of chronic inflammation in cancer,” says OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, who was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2001. “The OHSU community is proud to celebrate Dr. Coussens’ extraordinary achievements today.”
Coussens is the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s deputy director, and professor and chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology in the OHSU School of Medicine. She also holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science.
“It is gratifying to see Dr. Coussens’ scientific achievements and seminal work on the immune system’s role in cancer garner this well-deserved international recognition,” says Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and 2007 inductee in the National Academy of Sciences. “She is an esteemed leader at OHSU, the Knight Cancer Institute, and the American Association for Cancer Research. We applaud her remarkable career.”
In addition to receiving numerous awards throughout her career, Coussens has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science in 2018; a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy in 2019; and last month, she concluded a successful year-long term as President of the AACR (2022 – 23). Coussens is the sixth NAS member to be elected from OHSU.
Coussens earned a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University, a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, in the lab of Douglas Hanahan, Ph.D. She joined OHSU in 2011.
About The National Academy of Sciences
The NAS is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Approximately 500 current and deceased members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) were founded under the NAS charter in 1964 and 1970, respectively. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.