Awarded to an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments and achievements are exceptionally noteworthy and distinctive in his/her profession.
David Scadden '75 graduated from Bucknell with a degree in English. Fondly remembering the humanism of his family physician and a childhood love of science, he decided to pursue medical school. He headed to Columbia University for a year of pre-medical studies and then on to Case Western Reserve School of Medicine where he received his MD degree in 1980. He then moved on to Harvard where he has remained ever since. He trained in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital and sub-specialized in both hematology and medical oncology at the Brigham and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is currently the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine at Harvard University.
Dr. Scadden became an expert in how viruses can lead to cancer and led an international consortium defining new ways to treat the cancers that emerge in the settings of immune deficiency. His efforts to rebuild the immune system included establishing a laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital for the study of blood stem cells, stem cells that are used in treatment of a range of blood diseases and cancer.
When it became clear that stem cells had the potential to treat a wide range of diseases, he joined with Dr. Douglas Melton to co-found the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the largest stem cell program in the world. He also co-founded a new department at Harvard University, the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, the first department in 371 years to bridge the faculties of Medicine and Arts and Sciences. He co-directs these organizations while leading the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and caring for patients with cancer. He has mentored numerous physicians and scientists who now lead research programs at universities and corporations around the world. He developed a course for undergraduates combining literature and science and teaches undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
Dr. Scadden is an expert on the medical applications of stem cell biology with an emphasis on their use in the settings of cancer and AIDS. He has published over 250 scientific papers and book chapters and his lab has made fundamental contributions in how the microenvironment of the stem cells regulates their function. Therapies developed by his work are used in the treatment of cancer patients with immunodeficiency worldwide.
Dr. Scadden has received numerous honors including membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. He is serving on or has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute, Board of Directors of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the Board of External Experts for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and he is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He is also a scientific founder of Fate Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company, and holds over 20 patents.
Because Dr. David Scadden has earned the respect and recognition of the medical community, because he recognizes the importance of mentoring the next generation of scientists and doctors, and because his cutting-edge research brings promise to so many patients, the Bucknell Alumni Association is proud to honor him with its award for Outstanding Achievement in a Profession.