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Georgetown Doctor Among National Academy of Inventors Fellows

January 11, 2018 – Dr. Jeffrey Toretsky, a pediatric oncologist and researcher at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, will be inducted as a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow this coming spring.

The NAI announced him as a Fellow this past December for work related to research on Ewing sarcoma, a rare tumor that occurs in children and young adults. He will be inducted into the NAI on April 5 during the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Election to Fellow status is the “highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society,” the NAI states.

Creative Problem-Solving

“I’m pleased the NAI has recognized my work as a creative approach to problem-solving in medicine, as I particularly enjoy teaching others to use innovative approaches,” Toretsky says. “It is wonderful to be honored with this Fellowship by an organization whose goal focuses on innovations that can benefit society.”

His work focuses on a unique target, a protein called EWS-FLI1 not found in normal cells that offers the opportunity to create medicines more specifically aimed at eliminating tumor growth while sparing normal cells.

Toretsky is co-founder of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc., which is conducting a clinical trial with TK216, a first-in-class small molecule that directly targets EWS-FLI1.

Early laboratory research by Toretsky led to the development of TK216, for which Georgetown has licensed the underlying technology to Oncternal with Toretsky serving as a paid scientific advisor to the company.

Numerous Awards

In addition to being an NAI Fellow, Toretsky was inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2007 and received the Burroughs-Wellcome Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research in 2008.

He leads the molecular oncology program of Georgetown Lombardi and maintains a clinical pediatric oncology practice, and is the principal investigator of his NIH-funded laboratory group.

Toretsky received his medical degree in 1988 from the University of Minnesota, completed his pediatric residency at the Medical College of Virginia in 1991 and his pediatric oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute Pediatric Branch in 1997.