Pediatric Oncologist Honored With Prestigious Institute of Medicine Membership
An international leader in pediatric oncology research, and a key leader at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM), an honorific association for scientists at the top of their fields.
Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, who serves as the deputy scientific director for CHOP Research, received the honor in late 2009 in connection with his research on the molecular biology of the brain’s growth and development. His prominent program at Children’s Hospital centers on finding new treatments for childhood brain tumors.
More specifically, Dr. Curran and his colleagues are exploring the molecular basis of normal and neoplastic growth in the developing nervous system. By establishing a greater understanding of the normal processes that govern the formation of the brain, they hope to uncover new approaches for the treatment of rare but devastating pediatric brain tumors.
Dr. Curran’s research combines basic approaches with genomics and translational science in a broad-based effort, using experimental strategies that include various disease models, cell culture, genomics, human tumor samples, imaging, and a range of molecular techniques.
His groundbreaking research led to the opening of a clinical trial in January 2009 to test a new treatment of the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma.
Dr. Curran serves on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals. He has also presented hundreds of invited lectures around the world and authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. He was ranked fourth in the world among high-impact researchers in molecular biology between 1988 and 1992 by the Institute for Scientific Information, and is currently listed as a Highly Cited Scientist in three distinct fields – neuroscience, molecular biology and genetics, and microbiology.
He has served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research and on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. In 2005, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the national scientific academy of the United Kingdom.
In addition to serving as deputy director for the CHOP Research Institute – one of the nation’s largest pediatric research programs – Dr. Curran is a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and associate director of Translational Genomics, Penn Genome Frontiers Institute, all at the University of Pennsylvania.
Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM elects members for their excellence and professional achievement in a field relevant to the institute’s mission and for their willingness to participate actively in its work. For those at the top of their field, membership in the IOM reflects the height of professional achievement and commitment to service.