MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher named as a 2020 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
Credit: MUSC Hollings Cancer Center
In recognition of her spirit of innovation and the lasting impact of her work on cancer patients, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher Nancy Klauber-DeMore, M.D., has been named as a 2020 fellow of the National Academy of Innovators (NAI), the organization announced Dec. 8.
Induction into the NAI fellows program is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic innovators. The program was established to highlight inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
Klauber-DeMore joins a class that represents 115 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. To be eligible, awardees must have made outstanding contributions in areas such as patents, licensing, innovative discovery, technology or the enhancement of innovation and must be named as the inventor on patent(s) issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“As a physician-scientist, my ultimate goal is to take discoveries of novel cancer targets from human tumors all the way to development of a drug to treat the patient’s disease,” said Klauber-DeMore. “It is an honor to have this work recognized by NAI.”
The BMW Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at the Medical University of South Carolina, Klauber-DeMore has extensive research experience in developing new therapies for breast cancer that have led to clinical advances in patient care, particularly for those with metastatic disease. She has been a principal or co-investigator on more than 30 active and completed clinical trials and has contributed to five patents or patents pending. She is also developing novel surgical devices to aid in breast surgery.
Her lab focuses on discovering novel factors that stimulate the growth of new capillary blood vessels that provide tumors with oxygen and nutrients with a goal of developing new drugs to block these factors, therefore inhibiting tumor growth. She has also played an integral role as a surgeon in the evaluation of surgical clinical trials as well as clinical trials evaluating the role of natural products in cancer treatment.
With a focus on discovering less toxic therapies, Klauber-DeMore is leading investigator-initiated trials that look at the effects of natural products, such as an extract of frankincense, on tumor biology in humans and is collaborating with Mark Hamman, Ph.D., a researcher in Hollings’ Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program, to generate potent analogues of frankincense.
Most recently, research by Klauber-DeMore helped to lead to the development of IVT-8086, a new innovative cancer therapy for the treatment of osteosarcoma. In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the drug both the rare pediatric disease designation and orphan drug designation, highlighting the significant unmet medical needs of patients with this life-threatening disease.
“The most significant work that I have been involved in is in developing IVT-8086. This novel monoclonal antibody is directed toward a protein that we discovered to be very important in tumor growth and tumor immunology and is the culmination of 15 years of research,” said Klauber-DeMore. “My long-term goal is to continue to impact cancer patients through innovation in drug discovery.”
Klauber-DeMore will be inducted into the academy at the 2021 Fellows Induction Ceremony at the NAI’s 10th annual meeting in Tampa, Florida, in June.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.
About MUSC Hollings Cancer Center
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer research program in South Carolina. The cancer center comprises more than 100 faculty cancer scientists and 20 academic departments. It has an annual research funding portfolio of more than $44 million and a dedication to reducing the cancer burden in South Carolina. Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques within multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and other specialists equipped for the full range of cancer care, including more than 200 clinical trials. For more information, visit http://www.