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ASPET Members in the News: Donald P. McDonnell Elected to the National Academy of Medicine

October 20, 2016

Donald McDonnellDonald P. McDonnell, PhD from Duke University School of Medicine has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, an independent advisory organization made up of leading professionals in health, medicine and the natural, social, and behavioral sciences.  Dr. McDonnell was among 79 new members elected from both the United States and abroad. 

The National Academy of Medicine serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser to the national and the international community. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. 

Dr. McDonnell is chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and the Glaxo- Wellcome Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. He is also the co-director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Dr. McDonnell’s work focuses on the development of new ways to treat and prevent breast and prostate cancers. He and his team are recognized as leading innovators in the field of drug discovery and their work has resulted in the identification of several drugs that are currently available to patients or which are currently under development. His most recent work has led to the definition of biochemical links between obesity, elevated cholesterol and increased risk of breast cancer and therapy failure in breast cancer patients.

Dr. McDonnell received a degree in biochemistry from the National University of Ireland (Galway) and was awarded a PhD in cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he then joined the faculty. After a short tenure with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., he joined Duke University in 1994 and has served numerous leadership roles prior to being named department chair.  He has been an ASPET member since 2013 and is a member the divisions for Drug Discovery and Development and Molecular Pharmacology.


Last updated: October 20, 2016 

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