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Ley Chosen for National Cancer Advisory Board

President Obama appoints Dr. Timothy Ley to the board, which advises and assists the Director of the National Cancer Institute.

Internationally recognized cancer expert Timothy Ley, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named to the National Cancer Advisory Board. His appointment was announced June 18 by President Barack Obama.

The board advises the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the president on the nation’s cancer program and reviews proposals awarded by the NCI.

Ley, a hematologist, oncologist and cancer biologist, was one of five people chosen for the post.

“I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country,” Obama said in a news release. “They bring their years of experience and expertise to this administration, and I look forward to working with them.”

Ley is the Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Professor of Medicine and chief of the Section of Stem Cell Biology in the Division of Oncology, associate director for cancer genomics at McDonnell Genome Institute and a research member at Siteman Cancer Center.

In 2008, Ley led a team of researchers who decoded the entire genome of a cancer patient’s tumor. It was the first time scientists compared the DNA in a patient’s healthy and malignant cells to find genetic mutations that likely caused the disease. The pioneering research has laid the groundwork for precision medicine in cancer, which targets treatment to a patient based on the genetic makeup of a tumor rather than its location in the body.

Ley is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and was chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Human Genome Research Institute.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Drake University in 1974 and his medical degree from Washington University in 1978.