Message from Dr. Lowy

January 4, 2016, by Dr. Douglas R. Lowy, NCI Acting Director

Portrait of Douglas Lowy

Douglas R. Lowy, M.D.
Deputy Director, National Cancer Institute

Dear Colleagues,

NCI's RAS Initiative has come a long way since 2013, when former NCI director Dr. Harold Varmus and a group of experts envisioned a coordinated effort to understand the biology of RAS oncogenes. At that time, drugging RAS was a goal that had been all but abandoned by industry and many academic researchers, after years of trying. Today's concerted effort, led by the RAS Initiative, is beginning to make headway.

I have deeply personal interest in making Dr. Varmus's vision succeed. For many years RAS was a primary focus of my lab, since the early days of RAS cloning when RAS genes were seemingly hiding in mouse retroviruses. It is highly gratifying to see the recent increased interest in the entire field of RAS biology—and the progress that is occurring—due to the RAS Initiative.

Our goal is to create a virtual network of scientists working collaboratively to solve the RAS problem. If you have not done so already, I encourage you to join our online forum RAS Central to share your challenges and ideas for solving the difficult and fascinating problem of oncogenic RAS.

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