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David Pellman

David Pellman, Advisor

David Pellman is the Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Associate Director for Basic Science at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Chicago. During medical school, he trained with Dr. Hidesaburo Hanafusa at the Rockefeller University. His internship, residency and fellowship in pediatric oncology were at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. Gerald Fink at the Whitehead Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Pellman has received the Damon Runyon Scholar Award, the Stohlman Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, the E. Mead Johnson Award and an NIH MERIT Award. He has been elected to the Association of American Physicians and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Pellman’s laboratory has made contributions to understanding cell division and how cell division errors drive rapid evolution of the genome. The group has uncovered mechanistic explanations for catastrophic mutational processes underlying genome alterations in cancer. The accomplishments of the group include: (1) the co-discovery of formin-dependent actin assembly and a mechanism for positioning mitotic spindles within asymmetrically dividing cells; (2) discoveries showing that whole genome duplication alters cell physiology, can promote evolutionary adaptation, and can drive tumor development; (3) the discovery of a mechanism explaining chromothripsis, a recently discovered mutational process that generates rapid karyotype evolution in cancer and congenital disease.