Michael Kastan elected as new member of American Academy of Arts & Sciences

By Jill Boy

Michael Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute and the William W. Shingleton MD Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology in School of Medicine, is among four members of the Duke University faculty who have been elected members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Susan C. Alberts, a Bass Fellow and professor of biology; Paula D. McClain, dean of the graduate school and a professor of political science and public policy; and William M. Reddy, the William T. Laprade Professor of History and a professor of cultural anthropology also were elected.

Prior to joining Duke as the inaugural director of the Duke Cancer Institute in 2011, Dr. Kastan served as director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A pediatrician and an accomplished laboratory scientist, he is a leading expert on the role of abnormal DNA repair mechanisms in human cancer.  Dr. Kastan earned a degree in chemistry in 1977 as a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He won the prestigious Venable Medal in UNC’s Department of Chemistry in 1977. He then graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., and trained in pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. He remained at Johns Hopkins until 1998, when he joined St. Jude as chairman of the department of hematology/oncology. Dr. Kastan was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2009. Among numerous other honors, he was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation (1995); was named a Stohlman Scholar by The Leukemia Society of America (1999); was elected to the Association of American Physicians (2003); and won the AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award (2007) for outstanding contributions to basic cancer research.