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Erica Golemis of Fox Chase Cancer Center Named 2019 AAAS Fellow

November 26, 2019

Golemis was nominated as a Fellow for her work on the cell cilium. “In some types of tumor, cancer cells send out signals to normal cells in the microenvironment, changing it to enhance tumor growth. Some of these signals are transmitted through cilia on the normal cells,” she said. “In other tumor types, the cancer cell itself needs the cilia to receive growth signals.” Golemis was nominated as a Fellow for her work on the cell cilium. “In some types of tumor, cancer cells send out signals to normal cells in the microenvironment, changing it to enhance tumor growth. Some of these signals are transmitted through cilia on the normal cells,” she said. “In other tumor types, the cancer cell itself needs the cilia to receive growth signals.”

PHILADELPHIA (November 26, 2019) – Erica Golemis, PhD, professor, deputy chief science officer, leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program, and The William Wikoff Smith Chair in Cancer Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been named a 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The 2019 Fellows induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2020, in Seattle during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2020 Annual Meeting.

Golemis and colleagues at Fox Chase study tumor-associated defects in protein structure and interactions that underlie the errors in cell signaling that cause aggressive tumor growth. Her work is aimed at improving the use of clinical agents that can selectively target tumors.

Golemis was nominated as a Fellow for her work on the cell cilium, which has been described as the “antenna” of a cell. “In some types of tumor, cancer cells send out signals to normal cells in the microenvironment, changing it to enhance tumor growth. Some of these signals are transmitted through cilia on the normal cells,” she said. “In other tumor types, the cancer cell itself needs the cilia to receive growth signals.”

Besides roles in cancer, defects in signaling at cilia can lead to serious inherited conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, among others.

In a recently published paper, Golemis and her team found that some cancer drugs affect cilia. “Some of the cancer drugs affect cilia in potentially beneficial ways to help control tumor growth; some do not,” Golemis said. “It’s not yet well understood, and we are working on it.”

The AAAS formed in 1848. It is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, and its mission is to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.”

“I am honored and delighted to be nominated as an AAAS Fellow, as this will enhance my ability to be an advocate for basic science,” Golemis said.

       

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment 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 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 five 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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