LUNGevity Foundation Congratulates Frank Slack on His New Role in RNA Medicine

LUNGevity Foundation Congratulates Frank Slack on His New Role in RNA Medicine
Media Contact: 

Aliza Bran
(202) 414-0798

Washington, DC (September 12, 2014) – LUNGevity Foundation proudly congratulates 2013 LUNGevity research awardee Frank Slack, PhD, on his appointment as the first director of the newly formed Institute for RNA Medicine (iRM) at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Slack and his colleagues at iRM will investigate non-coding RNA, the 98% of the human genome’s genetic material previously considered unimportant but now believed to be potentially very significant in determining new targets for anti-cancer treatments. The initial work of the iRM will focus on lung cancer, blood cancers, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

Dr. Slack’s ongoing LUNGevity research project involves studying a particular inherited section of DNA, the KRAS-variant, which is found in about 20 percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients. Dr. Slack and his team are using these cutting-edge RNA-focused techniques to determine whether the KRAS-variant could be used as a biomarker for lung cancer risk or as a target for personalized treatment. Dr. Slack’s project could lead the way to major improvements for NSCLC patients with the KRAS-variant, a subgroup of lung cancer that has not benefited from personalized medicine yet.

“Dr. Slack is an innovative thoughtful researcher,” says Andrea Stern Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. “His work on the KRAS-variant is groundbreaking in an area that has not seen as many advances as hoped for. We are excited that his LUNGevity research and other work in the field are being recognized with this leadership position at iRM.  Dr. Slack is an outstanding choice to guide the institute’s efforts.”

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer kills more people than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and pancreatic, combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit