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BGHS grad Eric Holland now at Fred Hutchinson Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Monday, 14 October 2013 09:27
Eric Holland
SEATTLE - Eric Holland, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally known neurosurgeon and brain cancer researcher who grew up in Bowling Green, has been recruited from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle. There he will be working to establish world-class research programs on brain and other solid-tumor cancers.
Holland is a 1977 graduate of Bowling Green High School. He is the son of Charles and Claudia Holland, who moved from Bowling Green to Boulder, Colo., following Charles' retirement from the mathematics department faculty at Bowling Green State University in 2003.
The family arrived in Bowling Green in 1971, when Eric was starting the seventh grade. His mother worked as a teacher in the BG School System.
At the Hutchinson Center Holland has been named director of the Human Biology Division, an interdisciplinary program which brings together faculty with a broad range of expertise - from molecular and cellular biology to genetics and clinical research. The goal is to foster research that yields discoveries which can be rapidly translated into treatments for cancer patients.
"As a practicing neurosurgeon with an outstanding track record in molecular biology and genetics, Eric is at the forefront of translating laboratory advances into advanced molecular therapeutics - expertise that will be instrumental in catalyzing our efforts to build strength in... precision oncology," said Larry Corey, M.D., president and director of Fred Hutchinson. "I am confident that Eric will help us apply the strategies he has developed and used so successfully for brain tumors to many other types of solid-tumor cancers."
Holland is overseeing the recruitment of prominent new investigators in areas such as breast, prostate, gastrointestinal and other cancers.
"I am thrilled to be working with the world's leading experts in genome sciences, computational biology and those involved in the development of novel platforms for delivering innovative therapies to cancer patients," Holland said.
He was the founding director of the Brain Tumor Center at Sloan-Kettering, where he built one of the nation's most successful brain cancer research and clinical programs. He specializes in the research and treatment of glioma - the most common brain cancer in adults and the type that killed Senator Ted Kennedy - and metastatic brain tumors.
Holland's research focuses on developing mouse models of brain cancer that mimic the behavior of the disease in patients. His work with mouse models has led to clinical trials in glioma patients. He also has developed imaging strategies to follow mouse brain tumors as they develop - a system used to test promising new drugs with potential benefit for patients.
Among Holland's discoveries:
• He was the first to use a system of postnatal gene transfer to study brain cancer formation in mice, providing a model for the development of gliomas and medulloblastomas.
• His lab was the first to demonstrate that stem cells are more sensitive to changes that can lead to cancer, providing clues to cancer development and its ability to evade treatment.
• He was the first to demonstrate that the activity of a protein called Akt is elevated in human glioblastomas - a finding that provided major insights into this cancer.
Holland received his medical degree from Stanford University and a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Chicago. His postdoctoral training included work with two Nobel laureates: Paul Berg, Ph.D., a pioneer of recombinant DNA technology at Stanford; and Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute and former director of the National Institutes of Health. Prior to Holland's arrival at Sloan-Kettering in 2001 he conducted brain surgery and basic research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' prestigious Institute of Medicine.

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