Med Student Gets International Cancer Research Honor
April 4, 2012 – David Solomon, who graduates in May from Georgetown’s School of Medicine, is one of four people internationally and the only American recognized this year by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as an outstanding early career scientist.
Solomon, who received his Ph.D. in tumor biology from Georgetown in 2010 and is in the M.D./Ph.D program, presented his work at the April 2 Future Leaders in Basic Cancer Research Special Symposium during AACR’s annual meeting in Chicago.
In July, Solomon plans to start a two-year residency program in surgical pathology followed by a two-year neuropathology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.
“I hope to also continue to make strides in cancer research,” he says. “I am very interested in the future of molecular diagnostics for cancer pathology and the prospect of personalized targeted therapeutics based on the genetic profile of individual tumor specimens.”
The four early career scientists were chosen for work that “reflects innovation, scientific independence, motivation, and creativity,” according to AACR, a Philadelphia-based organization that promotes cancer research.
He and the other three honorees spoke to an audience of thousands of researchers and physicians who attend the AACR meeting from around the world.
Solomon’s research has focused on the identification of new cancer genes in human tumor samples and the translation of these findings into new, targeted therapies. He has already had numerous research studies published, including ones as first author in the journals Science and Cancer Research.
Passionate About Science
Solomon’s work has led to the identification of important tumor suppressor genes as well as the advancement of a small molecule inhibitor into a clinical trial with patients who have recurrent brain tumors.
“David’s contributions to the field of molecular biology already have been notable,” says Todd Waldman, associate professor of oncology at Georgetown and Solomon’s mentor. “He is passionate about science and fearless in his approach. Add his remarkable intelligence and strong work ethic, and it is easy to see the potential of this young scientist to be a future leader.”
Solomon says he is grateful for his time at the Medical Center in Waldman’s lab.
Forefront of Medicine
“I don’t know what it is like to study and work at any other place,” he says. “But there is something about the Georgetown mentality – I am not sure what it is – that attracts talented people who are happy to be here and very interested in being at the forefront of medicine.”
Solomon will also receive the 2012 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award sponsored by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle this May.
Research and Clerkships
The young scientist continues to actively pursue his research in addition to working at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital full time to complete the remaining clinical clerkships required to receive his M.D. this May.
“The strong basic science curriculum during the first two years at Georgetown’s School of Medicine, accompanied by the outstanding clinical mentorship during the last two years, have provided the perfect environment in which to thrive as an aspiring physician-scientist,” he says.