Recipient of the 2020 Seldin~Smith Award for Pioneering Research: Andrew A. Lane, MD, PhD

Picture of Andrew A. Lane, MD, PhD
Dr. Lane

The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) is pleased to announce Andrew A. Lane, MD, PhD, as the recipient of the 2020 Donald Seldin~Holly Smith Award for Pioneering Research. Dr. Lane will receive an unrestricted award of $30,000 to advance his academic efforts and will deliver a scientific talk at the 2021 AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting.

Dr. Lane’s research has centered on understanding the drivers of blood-cell transformation to leukemia and on developing therapies. In particular, his laboratory studies acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), and blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN). Dr. Lane’s work along with that of collaborators led to multicenter clinical trials for several treatment candidates for BPDCN, resulting in US Food and Drug Administration approval of tagraxofusp – the first treatment approved for the disease. Subsequently, Dr. Lane determined how BPDCN becomes resistant to tagraxofusp and is leading an effort to overcome this resistance through combination therapy. Through his research on patients with BPDCN, Dr. Lane found a genetic mutation in males only, inspiring subsequent research on identifying other mutations in tumor-suppressor genes with a similar sex bias, which may yield further insight into sex-biased cancers and other diseases.

“It is no small feat to lead one of the first prospective, multicenter trials in BPDCN, let alone amass sufficient patient samples to make headway in this rare disease,” David M. Weinstock, MD, wrote in support of Dr. Lane’s nomination. “He is making basic discoveries, translating them into trials that he leads and then taking samples from patients to iteratively advance better combinations or other strategies. To me, that is the definition of a great physician-scientist.”

Dr. Lane earned his MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. He subsequently did an internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a clinical fellowship in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a fellowship in hematology and oncology in the Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare Fellowship Program. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Physician in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research has been supported in part by the National Cancer Institute. 

Dr. Lane was selected from a group of exceptional applicants evaluated by the Seldin~Smith Award Selection Committee: Mukesh K. Jain (Chair), Vivian G. Cheung, Charles L. Sawyers, Elizabeth M. McNally, and Stuart H. Orkin. Finalists were evaluated by an Advisory Committee comprising five physician-scientist luminaries: Joseph L. Goldstein (Chair), Michael S. Brown, Robert J. Lefkowitz, Christine Seidman, and Arthur Weiss.

The Seldin~Smith Award complements two prestigious ASCI awards (the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award and the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine) that recognize senior physician-scientists who have made major contributions to science, mentorship, and translation of discovery to clinical impact.

The goal of the Seldin~Smith Award is to connect exceptionally creative early-career physician-scientists with the legacies of two iconic figures in medicine: Donald Seldin and Lloyd “Holly” Smith Jr. Drs. Seldin and Smith, who both passed away in 2018, provided the inspiration for this Award through their storied careers of developing generations of outstanding physician-scientists.