Theodora Ross
Photo: Theodora S. Ross

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Elected 2004
Dr. Ross is a physician-scientist practicing oncology and science at the University of Michigan. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University under the mentorship of Dr. Philip Majerus. She then completed her residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her laboratory focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms of transformation of normal cells into cancer cells and the resistance of cancer cells to targeted drugs (e.g. imatinib). Her research is focused on 1) understanding how cancer cells hijack clathrin trafficking pathways to increase signals from multiple growth factor receptors in parallel (Rao et al., Cancer Cell 2003; 3:471) and 2) understanding how tyrosine kinase oncogene induced cancers resist targeted therapies in vivo (Oravecz-wilson et al, Cancer Cell 2009; 16:137). Her clinical practice focuses on breast cancer patients and serves as a continuous reminder that the clinic is the reason for her scientific pursuits. She has been a strong advocate for funding of basic cancer research having served from 1997 to 2003 as president of “Concert for the Cure”, a non-profit organization that raised money for basic breast cancer research. In addition, she has been associate director of the University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program since 2007. She is the recipient of a number of research awards including Damon Runyon Scholar (2000), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar (2005) and Burroughs Wellcome Clinical Scientist (2008) Awards.