The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

The Judith Ann Lippard Memorial Lectureship in Cancer Research

The Third Annual Judith Ann Lippard Memorial Lecture in Cancer Research:
Genetic Heterogeneity Guides Personalized Screening and Adaptive Treatment

Friday, October 27, 2017, 12-1 pm
Koch Institute Auditorium (76-156)

Laura J. van 't Veer, PhD
Leader, Breast Oncology Program, and Director, Applied Genomics,
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Angela and Shu Kai Chan Endowed Chair in Cancer Research

About Dr. van 't Veer

Laura van Laura van ‘t Veer, PhD is Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University California San Francisco (UCSF). She is the Program Leader of the Breast Oncology Program and Director of Applied Genomics with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Laura van ‘t Veer is one of the world’s leading innovators in cancer diagnostics, she is widely recognised as a pioneer in the field of personalised medicine. She has a 25-year track record in molecular oncology research, which includes more than 250 scientific publications and prestigious awards for her contributions to breast cancer care.

Her research focuses on personalized medicine, to advance patient management based on knowledge of the genetic make-up of the tumor as well as the genetic make-up of the patient. Her current research is aimed to understand the molecular basis for favorable response to therapy. In particular, leading the biomarker efforts of the multi-site breast cancer neo-adjuvant I-SPY 2 TRIAL. Her own laboratory has developed a test system to measure kinome activity in cancer tissue. In addition, she coordinates the genetics component based on germline susceptibility gene, as well as polygenic risk score assessment, in the 100,000 women personalized-screening Wisdom study.

Dr. van ‘t Veer is best known for work originating from a discovery she and her team made at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). They established that a specific 70-gene activity signature distinguished whether breast cancer had a low or high risk of recurrence. After patenting their innovation, she co-founded Agendia and launched the MammaPrint® test. In 2016, the MINDACT trial published in the NEJM showed that about half of the clinical-pathological considered high risk breast cancer patients are molecularly low risk by MammaPrtin, and that receiving chemotherapy did not provide a clinical meaningful benefit for their 5 year survival, and could thus safely forego this treatment.

She was awarded a 2014 European Union Prize for Women Innovators that acknowledges the ways MammaPrint has helped transform breast cancer care. In 2015, the European Patent Office (EPO) recognised MammaPrint’s impact on breast cancer diagnostics by honoring Dr. van ‘t Veer with a European Inventor Award. In 2017, she received the European CanCer Organization (ECCO) Clinical Research Award.

About the Lecture

Judith LippardThe Judith Ann Lippard Memorial Lecture was established in 2014 in memory of Judy Lippard, the wife of Stephen J. Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT. Judy died of endometrial cancer on September 9, 2013. Steve, Josh, and Alex Lippard, together with countless friends, students, and colleagues created the lectureship to honor Judy’s memory and celebrate her remarkable love of life.

The creation of the Judith Ann Lippard Lectureship was inspired by a similar lecture, created in 1974 in memory of Judy’s and Steve’s eldest son, Andrew, who died from a neurological disorder at age 7. Over time, the Andrew Mark Lippard Lecture at Columbia University has become one of the preeminent neurology lectures in the world.

The Judith Ann Lippard Lectureship brings together the most innovative minds in cancer research from a variety of disciplines—biology, chemistry, engineering, clinical medicine—and features individuals whose research has the possibility to change the face of cancer. The Lippard Lecture also unites two extraordinary cancer centers—MIT’s Koch Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. In addition to the formal lecture at MIT, the honoree delivers Grand Rounds at MGH, and spends time with trainees, researchers, and physician-scientists at both institutions, thus inspiring the best and brightest young minds to advance cancer therapies.

Selection Committee

Tyler Jacks, PhD
Stephen J. Lippard, PhD, ex officio
Jonathan Rosand, MD, MSc
Phillip A. Sharp, PhD 

Supporting the Lippard Lectures

To join the Lippard family in celebrating Judy's life and legacy, please contact Lisa Schwarz, Managing Director of Development, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT: 617-324-7399;, or give online.

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