“Ned Sharpless is one of the most accomplished physician-scientists in America. He has repeatedly published groundbreaking translational science in the world’s top journals and, as a result, has attracted numerous large federal and foundation grants, making him one of UNC’s top funded researchers,” said Shelley Earp, MD, Director of UNC Lineberger and UNC Cancer Care.
“His scientific accomplishments are matched by his outstanding mastery of clinical medicine, molecular genetics and animal modeling, as well as his passion for making life better for cancer patients. In addition, he is a scientific entrepreneur and one of UNC’s most sought-after teachers and mentors,” Earp added.
In his new role, Dr. Sharpless will be responsible for guiding the Center’s scientific agenda across the basic, clinical and population sciences. He will also lead the strategic planning process setting the direction for the 2014-2020 time frame, in preparation for the Center’s 2015 NCI grant renewal. His previous role at the cancer center was Associate Director for Translational Research.
Dr. Sharpless, a Greensboro native, was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina where he studied mathematics as an undergraduate. He graduated with honors and distinction from the UNC School of Medicine, followed by internal medicine training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He completed his hematology and oncology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, also at Harvard Medical School. After finishing his clinical training, Dr. Sharpless completed a research postdoctoral fellowship at the Dana-Farber, prior to joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 2000. Dr. Sharpless returned to UNC in 2002.
In addition to his clinical work as a physician, Dr. Sharpless runs a 17 person basic science laboratory that studies cancer and aging. He is co-leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program, co-founder and co-director of the UNC Mouse Phase I Unit, and Associate Director of the UNC Center for Aging and Health. He has authored more than 100 original reports, reviews and book chapters, and is an inventor of 10 patents.
His lab has received support from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research; the American Federation of Aging Research; the William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation; the Golfers Against Cancer Foundation; the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; the Paul Glenn Foundation; and the Ellison Medical Foundation. He is supported by a Clinical Scientist in Translational Research Award from the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. He is on the scientific advisory board of several scientific foundations and is an associate editor of Aging Cell and Impact Aging, and is the Deputy Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was the 2007 recipient of the Jefferson Pilot Award, the 2009 recipient of the Hettleman Prize for Scholarly Achievement, a 2010 recipient of a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, a 2012 Triangle Business Journal Health Care Hero, and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the nation’s oldest honor society for physician-scientists. He has been elected to serve on the ASCI council from 2011 to 2014.