The American Academy has elected 200 new members, including 42 non-Americans from 23 countries. All members have been selected for their outstanding achievements in academia, the arts, business, government and public affairs.
René Medema, Chairman of the Board of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, is proud and congratulates his colleague: 'Rene Bernards is internationally known as an innovative and leading scientist, whose mission is to bring the therapies he develops in the lab to the patient as quickly as possible. This honourable appointment is yet another important recognition of his stature.'
Bernards researches the biological mechanisms in cancer cells that can be a starting point for the development of new drugs and combination therapies. In 2018, he received a large grant from the EU to expose the weaknesses of cancer cells that become resistant to so-called targeted drugs. He wants to target those weaknesses with existing or new medicines.
Rene Bernards is well-known in the scientific community in America. In 2018, he was elected to the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Academy and his team was the only team from outside the US to receive a large grant in a new American research program to test a new combination therapy to combat pancreatic cancer.
It is not often that a Dutch person is invited to join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. There are two other cancer researchers among the current members from the Netherlands: Piet Borst (also Antoni van Leeuwenhoek) and Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute). Physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf and architect Rem Koolhaas also belong to the American Academy.
Among the many famous members are Michelle Obama and mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck, this year's winner of the Abel Prize, the Nobel Prize for mathematicians. Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy were also members.