Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO to Help Guide National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s CEO and director, Mary Beckerle, PhD, will join Vice-President Joe Biden’s Moonshot Program Initiative as an invited member of a new Blue Ribbon Panel, tasked with advising the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) on the scientific opportunities available to accelerate progress against cancer and evaluate potential new investments in cancer research.

Dr. Beckerle met with the Vice President when he toured Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) on Feb. 26 as part of his national listening tour and spoke to him about what HCI is doing with big data, one of the concerns Biden voiced during a roundtable discussion that included several HCI researchers, Senator Orrin Hatch, and Jon Huntsman, Jr. Biden was intrigued with her description of the Utah Population Database (UPDB) and its use in the prevention of cancer—something she termed “Precision Prevention,” where patients at high risk for disease based on their family history can be screened before cancer strikes, eliminating cancer or detecting it early when it can be more effectively treated. Today, such initiatives are performed in collaboaration with the Utah Genome Project.

“It is both a great honor and a great responsibility to be invited to serve our nation in this capacity,” Beckerle said upon learning of her invitation to serve on the panel. “Cancer is the single most devastating disease of mankind, and the Moonshot Initiative is aptly visionary in its approach to accelerating progress in its prevention and treatment.”

Blue Ribbon Panel Announced to Help Guide President Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative (National Institutes of Health)

Huntsman Cancer Institute Director Joins VP Biden's "Moonshot" Panel (The Salt Lake Tribune)

Ushering in a new phase of cancer discovery and care