Annual Alvord Lecture: Implementing Molecular Parameters in the World Health Organization Classification of CNS Tumors
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David Louis, MD
Benjamin Castleman Professor of Pathology
Department of Pathology
Harvard Medical School
- Faculty Sponsor
Jing Zhang, MD, PhD and C. Dirk Keene, MD, PhD
Crossing the Second Translational “Valley of Death”: Implementing Molecular Parameters in the World Health Organization Classification of CNS Tumors
David N. Louis, MD, is the Benjamin Castleman Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and pathologist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. Pathology at MGH has nearly 100 faculty members, over 100 trainees and over 700 employees, and performs about 10 million laboratory tests as well as 80,000 surgical pathology evaluations, 400,000 microbiology analyses, and 50,000 cytologies each year. Under Dr. Louis’ chairmanship, the department has become a national leader in molecular diagnostics and pathology informatics, leading to a novel initiative in computational pathology. Dr. Louis' own clinical neuropathology practice and research focuses on brain tumors, with an emphasis on the molecular basis of malignant gliomas and the application of molecular diagnostics to glioma classification. He has published more than 250 original articles, as well as numerous reviews, chapters and books. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate that molecular approaches could be used to subdivide malignant gliomas in a biologically relevant manner, and that molecular approaches could be used to predict the response of particular malignant gliomas to specific therapies. This work has contributed to worldwide adoption of molecular testing for the management of patients with these tumors. Dr. Louis has received a number of prestigious awards for his work, including the 2008 Zülch Prize of the Max Planck Society. Dr. Louis served on the 2000 WHO Committee on the Classification of Tumours of Nervous System; he also co-chaired and was the primary editor for the 2007 WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System and is currently guiding the process as primary editor for the current planned update of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System. He has served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Brain Tumor Society, on the Board of Directors of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, and on editorial boards of more than 10 national and international journals. Dr. Louis is one of three editors for the 8th edition of Greenfield's Neuropathology, the standard international reference in neuropathology, and is first author of the AFIP Fascicle on Non-neoplastic Disease of the Central Nervous System. He was also co-chair of the Brain Tumor Progress Review Group sponsored by the NIH, and was the founding chair of the Cancer Biomarkers Study Section at NIH.
The Alvord Lecture honors and recognizes Emeritus Professor Ellsworth Alvord as an important pioneer in the field of neuropathology. Dr. Alvord served as Chief of Neuropathology at the University of Washington for 42 years from 1960 to 2002.