NEW YORK, NY (May 23, 2019) — The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) today announced that Dr. Katerina Politi has been named the chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. Politi, an Associate Professor of Pathology and Internal Medicine (in the Section of Medical Oncology) at Yale School of Medicine, will be taking over the role from Dr. James B. Dougherty, who has held the chair position for 14 years.

Politi studied Biology at the University of Pavia in Italy, and she obtained her PhD in genetics and development, working with Argiris Efstratiadis at Columbia University. Following graduate school, she joined Harold Varmus’s lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and began her work on the molecular basis of lung cancer. She continues this work today in her laboratory at Yale School of Medicine.

Previously, Politi received two research grants from LCRF. In 2010, she received a grant to study mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies. In 2013, her LCRF-funded project again investigated resistance to targeted therapies, this time focusing on understanding the influence of tumor cell-of-origin and heterogeneity on acquired resistance. Today, Politi’s laboratory continues to focus on studying the molecular basis of tumor formation, progression and mechanisms of resistance to therapies directed against mutant EGFR. In addition, her laboratory investigates the basic mechanisms that underlie interactions between cancer cells and immune cells and how these affect sensitivity and resistance to cancer immunotherapies. Her work has resulted in numerous scientific publications and presentations, and in her role as LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board chair, Politi will work to foster and steward funding paradigms that support similar research.

“I am excited and honored to chair LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Scientific Advisory Board, the Board of Directors and LCRF’s dedicated staff to continue the Foundation’s commitment to funding outstanding lung cancer research and investigators,” said Politi.

LCRF’s Scientific Advisory Board includes renowned scientists, physicians and thought leaders spanning a broad range of disciplines in lung cancer research who leverage their collective experience and expertise to maintain the objectivity of the grant selection process and help to ensure that LCRF continues to fund research of the highest caliber. The group is responsible for the review of grant applications and providing opinions and strategic input to LCRF’s Board of Directors on relevant topics. Members are selected and recruited based on their level of expertise, prominence in the field of lung cancer research, and commitment to LCRF’s mission.

In his role as Scientific Advisory Board chair, Dougherty has overseen the awarding of over $13M in funding for over 180 research projects. During his tenure, he has stewarded the growth of LCRF and its grant program from an intramural initiative at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to an independent foundation, which operates a grant program that receives over 200 applications annually. As both chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and a founding member of the Board of Directors, Dougherty has played a key operational and strategic role, helping to grow LCRF’s portfolio of research that has the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. While Dougherty’s tenure as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board will officially end on June 1, he will continue to work closely with Politi and LCRF staff to ensure a smooth transition.

“Dr. Politi will bring a fresh perspective and vision to this role and will continue to build upon LCRF’s strong legacy of supporting lung cancer scientists,” said James B. Dougherty, MD, former chair, LCRF Scientific Advisory Board. “She is a very talented researcher and her work exemplifies the importance of funding basic science.”

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About the Lung Cancer Research Foundation®

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation® (LCRF®) is the leading nonprofit organization focused on funding innovative, high-reward research with the potential to extend survival and improve quality of life for people with lung cancer. LCRF’s mission is to improve lung cancer outcomes by funding research for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of lung cancer.

To date, LCRF has provided $33 million in research grants to investigators around the world. In addition to funding lung cancer research, the organization focuses on lung cancer awareness and educational programs. The Foundation also hosts community events nationwide through its Free to Breathe® Events Program. For more information, visit