Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Edna ‘Eti’ Cukierman Appointed Chair-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s Tumor Microenvironment Working Group

Edna Cukierman
Edna "Eti" Cukierman, PhD, has been appointed chair-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) Tumor Microenvironment Working Group at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023

PHILADELPHIA (April 17, 2023)—Edna “Eti” Cukierman, PhD, Co-Director of the Marvin and Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Cancer Institute at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been appointed chair-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) Tumor Microenvironment (TME) Working Group at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, which is being held April 14-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

“I am honored to be selected to head this group, which consists of the best and brightest minds in TME research. Working together, I know we can unveil the unique intricacies of the TME to the future benefit of patients and all individuals at risk for developing cancer,” said Cukierman, who is also co-leader of the Cancer Signaling and Microenvironment research program at Fox Chase.

The TME consists of the cells in the immediate vicinity of cancer cells that play a key role in the growth of tumors. The mission of the TME Working Group is to provide an opportunity for a diverse group of scientists with a common interest in the TME to guide the AACR in its mission to prevent and cure cancer. It will do this through activities directed at understanding the impact of the microenvironment on cancer initiation and progression.

Cukierman will serve as chair-elect of the working group for 2023-2024 and will transition to the role of chair for the 2024-2026 term at the 2024 AACR Annual Meeting. In addition to her other roles at Fox Chase, Cukierman is also the co-director of its Histopathology Facility, where she leads the Spatial Immuno-Proteomic Initiative. Her research focuses on pancreatic cancer — specifically, the fibrous scar-like tissue cells that make up most of the TME and influence immune cell function as well as how tumors develop and grow.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Cukierman immigrated to Israel in 1986 and earned her doctoral degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1997. Her research in extracellular matrix biology began with a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, where she demonstrated that fibroblastic cells and self-generated matrix constitute a functional unit.

Since her arrival to Fox Chase in 2002, Cukierman has risen in rank and responsibilities. She also serves as the Senior Editor of the Tumor Biology Section of the newest AACR journal, Cancer Research and Communications.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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