Washington, DC – The National Academy of Sciences has inducted V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, scientific director and vice chairman of the department of oncology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Induction to the NAS is considered one of the highest honors for a scientist. The Academy said the induction, held Saturday, April 24, honors those who “serve as a role model for defining excellence in science for the next generation of scientists in his or her field.”
“Frankly, I never imagined it would be possible for me to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences,” says Jordan. “One cannot apply. You are selected by the Members. In my view, this is the most prestigious professional society in the world for scientists of all disciplines, and very few succeed in selection.”
Jordan is an internationally recognized breast cancer scientist whose research focuses on the response of breast cancer cells to preventive and treatment agents. A pharmacologist, Jordan is recognized by many as the "father" the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen, a drug that blocks estrogen from fueling some breast cancers. Millions of women around the world continue to be treated with tamoxifen or take it to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
“It is through the efforts of the Tamoxifen teams over the past thirty years that our experiments in the laboratory have successfully been able to change medical practice, with not only tamoxifen, but also raloxifene. My election is a credit to the young people in my group, who turned ideas into lives saved over the past three decades. My election to the National Academy of Sciences is recognition of our group effort,” says Jordan.
“Dr. Jordan’s election to the National Academy of Sciences underscores his seminal contributions to the field of breast cancer therapy,” says Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of the cancer center. Jordan was named as scientific director at Lombardi just weeks before his NAS selection. “His extraordinary accomplishments made him the ideal candidate to be Lombardi's scientific director, and his induction into the National Academy of Sciences is a source of great pleasure and pride for all of us. We are delighted for Dr. Jordan and are pleased to provide him with an exciting venue for his future scientific endeavors and leadership.”
The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.
“We salute Dr. Jordan-- he is much deserving of this honor. His research changed the standard of care for many women with breast cancer and saved countless lives. What’s more, his scientific findings established the basis for much of the cancer prevention and treatment research being done today,” says Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Jordan's distinguished list of national and international awards includes the 2008 ASCO David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award for advances that have changed the way doctors treat breast cancer patients. Also in 2008, Jordan became one of five scholars from around the world to receive an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in London. The award is one of the highest honors in British medicine.
Jordan also received the 2007 University of Massachusetts Medical School/Worcester Foundation Gregory Pincus Memorial Award and Medal. In 2006, he was honored with ASCO’s American Cancer Society Award for Chemoprevention. Other awards include the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation's 2003 Charles F. Kettering Prize for the most outstanding contribution to cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society's 2002 Medal of Honor for basic research, the 2001 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research and the first Brinker International Breast Cancer Award for Basic Science from the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1992. In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II named him an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to international breast cancer research.
In addition, Jordan has been honored by the American Association for Cancer Research, in 1989 and 2002, the British Pharmacological Society, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and many other professional groups and institutions around the world. He also received the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition's 2001 Pink Ribbon Award for outstanding individuals dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.
Jordan comes to Lombardi from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia where he serves as vice president and scientific director for the medical sciences and holds the Alfred G. Knudson Jr., MD, PhD, Chair in Cancer Research. Jordan is also an adjunct professor of cancer biology at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting professor of molecular medicine at the University of Leeds in England.
Prior to joining Fox Chase, Jordan was the Diana, Princess of Wales Professor of Cancer Research, professor of cancer pharmacology and director of the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. He was also professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry and professor of medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Born in Texas to an English mother and American father, he grew up in rural England and earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in pharmacology at the University of Leeds, completing his PhD in 1972. Although appointed to the faculty at Leeds, Jordan first came to the United States for postdoctoral training. He was a research associate and then a visiting scientist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Mass., from 1972 to 1974.
After teaching at Leeds until 1979, he held a one-year appointment to establish the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Berne in Switzerland and then joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1980. For his seminal contributions to the pharmacology of non-steroidal anti-estrogens, Leeds awarded him a doctor of science degree in 1985 and he became a full professor of human oncology and pharmacology at Wisconsin the same year. His roles at Wisconsin included directing the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program until he joined the Northwestern faculty in 1993.
About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through Georgetown’s affiliation with MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.