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A Message from Dr. Frank McCormick

September 22, 2014, by Dr. Frank McCormick

Frank McCormick, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank McCormick directs the research efforts of the RAS Initiative at FNLCR.

Welcome to the RAS Initiative on Cancer.gov.

Since I published my first paper on RAS a long while ago, our knowledge of RAS and its partners in illegitimate signaling has grown tremendously, but as you are aware we have yet to convert that knowledge into any drugs that directly target the RAS protein. We have struggled to integrate what we know of how RAS signals with the heterogeneity seemingly inherent in solid tumors and the subtle differences in the behavior of different RAS mutants, among many, many aspects of the RAS problem.

RAS Central is part of a concerted effort, led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its director, Dr. Harold Varmus, and me, to improve this state of affairs. The RAS Initiative at the NCI Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), in Frederick, Maryland, is redirecting existing technology resources established by the NCI over the past decade to concentrate on eight different aspects of RAS. However, it is our vision and hope that the RAS Initiative will face outward and encourage collaboration in the large community of scientists (estimated at more than 1,500 labs worldwide) that work on the RAS pathways every day.

RAS Central is a major piece of that outreach. Within RAS Central you will be able to pose questions, give and seek advice on reagents and techniques, connect with other members of the RAS community, and read and respond to commentaries by leaders in the field.

Please join us to facilitate and expand open communications within the RAS community. I’m looking forward to working with you.

About Dr. Frank McCormick

Dr. Frank McCormick has had a distinguished career in RAS research; first at Cetus Corporation, then at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (which he founded), and later as director of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. McCormick has focused his considerable talents and energy on solving the RAS problem. As a consultant to Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., the contractor that operates the FNLCR, Dr. McCormick directs the research efforts of the the RAS Initiative at the FNLCR.

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