Alan D. D'Andrea

Harvard University


Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2021)

Biosketch

Alan D’Andrea received his Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 1983. He completed a research fellowship at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he cloned the receptor for erythropoietin, the major red blood cell hormone. Dr. D’Andrea joined the Dana-Farber faculty in 1990. He is currently the Fuller-American Cancer Society Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, the Director of the Center for DNA Damage and Repair, and the Director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Dr. D’Andrea is best known for his research in the area of DNA damage and DNA repair. His laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of Fanconi Anemia, a human genetic disease characterized by a DNA repair defect, bone marrow failure, and cancer predisposition.  Dr. D’Andrea is the recipient of the G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research and the Ernest Beutler Prize from the American Society of Hematology.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a member of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy.

Research Interests

Alan D’Andrea is a physician-scientist who has made major contributions across several areas of molecular hematology, cancer biology, and human genetics. In a series of decisive studies integrating cell biology and biochemistry, Dr. D’Andrea elucidated the molecular basis of the cancer-prone, childhood disorder, Fanconi Anemia (FA).  He made the unexpected discovery that the BRCA2 breast cancer-susceptibility protein is a FA protein which cooperates in a DNA repair pathway involving twenty-three FA proteins.  Disruption of this pathway leads to bone marrow failure and cancer.  He demonstrated that the pathway is regulated by the sequential monoubiquitination of FANCD2 by the FA core complex followed by FANCD2 deubiquitination by the DUB complex, USP1/UAF1.  His laboratory determined that inhibition of the TGF pathway is a potential novel therapy for Fanconi Anemia patients. As a result of his bench to bedside efforts, the FA pathway has become a major focus of international cancer gene profiling efforts. Dr. D’Andrea’s research has led to novel biomarkers and diagnostic tests for cancer patients. Dr. D’Andrea has published more than 300 original, peer-¬reviewed papers and contributed multiple chapters and letters. He is a sought-after speaker at many levels – regional, national, and international. 

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