About the Chair
Erica Golemis, PhD, is a nationally recognized cancer biologist and scientific leader, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Concurrent with her role as Department Chair, Dr. Golemis serves as Deputy Chief Science Officer at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she is also The William Wikoff Smith Chair in Cancer Research and co-leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program.
Dr. Golemis has a broad background in cancer biology. As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her work initially focused on how retroviruses cause leukemias and lymphomas in mice. This work yielded insights that helped establish how oncogenic changes in gene expression cause lymphoid and myeloid malignancies in humans. During subsequent postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital she focused on development of a two-hybrid technology for the identification of protein interaction networks. Application of this technology has contributed to generation of essential datasets used in proteomics and systems biology to identify critical signaling changes that promote cancer and drug resistance.
Dr. Golemis first established a research laboratory at Fox Chase in 1993. Current topics of study by her group include the exploration of promising new therapeutic approaches for treatment of advanced cancers of the head and neck. This work is supported by a National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) for Head and Neck Cancer, and is part of a collaboration among Fox Chase Cancer Center, Yale Cancer Center, and the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center. Other ongoing work assesses the genomic differences distinguishing colorectal cancers in distinct patient cohorts, and investigates signaling by NEDD9, AURKA, and interacting proteins that mediate metastasis and drug resistance. Her research frequently involves collaboration with medical and radiation oncologists, and combines use of experimental approaches, including mouse models, coupled with bioinformatic analysis of data, to gain insight into the signaling changes that characterize aggressive tumors.
Dr. Golemis has authored over 225 publications, and edited 4 books. In addition to her administrative roles at Fox Chase and Temple, she serves as a Senior Editor at the journal eLife, and holds additional editorial roles for the journals Cancer Biology and Therapy, Gene, and BMC Cancer. She serves on peer-review panels for the NIH, the Department of Defense, and a number of foundations supporting cancer research.
In expressing her philosophy in developing the CCB Department, she notes that:
“Over the length of my career, I have seen transformative changes in cancer treatment, resulting in steadily reducing mortality for many forms of cancer. Besides reflecting important efforts in cancer prevention, these advances have come about as fundamental scientific discoveries made in the laboratory have been applied as therapeutic modalities in the clinic. Removing siloes that segregate scientists and clinicians allows creative breakthroughs to achieve maximum impact. There is already great strength in cancer research and cancer care in the Temple and Fox Chase Cancer Center systems; my goal is to foster cross-system interactions to enhance innovation.”