2 USC scientists called to serve on Biden’s renewed Cancer Moonshot initiative

John Carpten and Peter Kuhn will serve in the research effort aimed at reducing the national cancer death rate by 50% in the next 25 years.

February 02, 2022 Paul McQuiston

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called together a team of experts — including two USC cancer scientists — to reignite a national research effort, Cancer Moonshot, with the aim of reducing the national death rate from the disease by 50% in the next 25 years.

The USC researchers at the White House meeting were John Carpten, who directs the Institute of Translational Genomics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC  and who was selected to chair the Biden administration’s National Cancer Advisory Board, and cancer physicist Peter Kuhn, who runs a cancer research lab at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and is a Dean’s Professor of Biological Sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Carpten is the associate director of basic science for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Kuhn directs the Convergent Science Institute in Cancer at the USC Michelson Center. Both experts bring considerable experience to the effort toward fighting cancer, which has a broad range of goals such as accelerating scientific discovery in cancer and greater collaboration. The initiative also aims to assist families coping with cancer.

Kuhn is also a professor of medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC and a professor of engineering (biomedical, aerospace and mechanical) at USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Moonshot first launched in 2016 with focus on fighting cancer

Cancer Moonshot was first launched in 2016 by Biden when he was vice president. The initiative began months after he had lost his eldest son, Beau Biden, to glioblastoma — a brain cancer that has an extraordinarily high mortality rate.

The initiative was part of the 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress in 2016. The Cancer Moonshot provided $1.8 billion to address cancer disparities, drive drug discovery and examine childhood cancer.