Laurie Glimcher

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Laurie Glimcher
Born1951 (age 67–68)
ResidenceUnited States
EducationWinsor School (1968)

Radcliffe College(1972)

Harvard Medical School (1976)
Known forCancer Immunotherapy (research) Immune System (research) Osteoporosis (Clinical Specialty)
AwardsWilliam B. Coley Award (2012)

Laurie Hollis Glimcher is an American physician-scientist who was appointed President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in October 2016.[1] She was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.


Glimcher's research has focused on the immune system; she is known for early work with T cell differentiation, her discovery that Schnurri-3 regulates osteoblasts which led to a collaboration with Merck & Co., and her discovery of the role played by XBP-1 in lipogenesis and the unfolded protein response.[2][3] Glimcher's role helped discover Schnurri-3 (Shn3 for short) is a large zinc finger protein distantly related to Drosophila. Shn is a potent and essential regulator of adult bone formation.[4] Her research has had implications for understanding asthma, HIV, inflammatory bowel disease, and osteoporosis, and around 2016, on cancer immunotherapy.[5]

She joined the board of directors of Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1997 and retired from the board in 2017.[6][7][8] Her research laboratory received funding from Merck & Co for a project focused on developing new therapies for the treatment of osteoporosis in 2008.[9]

Glimcher was the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology at the Harvard School of Public Health, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.[10] Clinically, she is a specialist in osteoporosis.[6]

From 2012 to 2016 Glimcher served as the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College[11] and the Cornell University Provost for Medical Affairs.[12]

In February 2016, Laurie Glimcher was named the next president and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Glimcher was considered for the position for the Dean of Harvard Medical School but turned the position down in order to become the president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[13] At Dana-Farber, Glimcher is collaborating on research which strives to find methods of combatting cancer from within the human immune system.[14] The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an institution that is affiliated with Harvard, as it currently is one of its teaching hospitals. Glimcher, who was the first female dean of any medical school in New York state, became the first female to lead the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Glimcher became interested in immunology during her first year of medical school at Harvard.[15] There she took interest dysregulation in autoimmune diseases and, in her fourth year at Harvard, discovered the protein known as Nk1.1(see natural killer T cell), which soon became widely recognized across the field of immunology.[15] For this discovery, Glimcher became the first woman to receive the Soma Weiss Award, an honor her father had received 26 years earlier. During this time, Glimcher worked with mentor Bill Paul, who strongly encouraged her to continue her research independently after completing medical school. During her second year of residency, Glimcher realized why she felt so drawn to this area of research. “What always fascinated me was not so much treating patients with disease, but figuring out why they had the disease,” says Glimcher.[15] Glimcher currently heads her own lab for research in immunology. She has been interested in studying the ties between ER stress system in neurons and immune function and neuro-degeneration.[15] Her past work has involved regulation of immune function and has shifted towards osteobiology with a focus on the bone disease osteoporosis. Her Harvard lab has a three-year contract with Merck for the drug Fosamax, a treatment for osteoporosis.[15] Glimcher's more current research looks to answer the question, “how does the immune system and the ER stress system impact cancer development and progression?”.[15]


Glimcher is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received the L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science in 2014 for her work in the field of immunology and her research regarding the control of immune responses.[16][15] She received the Steven C. Beering Award [ru] in 2015.[17] In 2018, she received the American Association of Immunologists Lifetime Achievement Award.[18]


Laurie Glimcher is a part of many different organizations and memberships. She is a member of:[12]


Laurie Glimcher's father is Melvin Glimcher, who was a pioneer in the development of artificial limbs while the chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopedics Department. Glimcher followed in the footsteps of her father by later becoming a full professor at Harvard Medical School at the age of 39; the two became research partners.[14] Her mother was Geraldine Lee Bogolub. Her husband is Gregory Petsko, who was Director of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center and Chair of Biochemistry at Brandeis University prior to moving to Weill Cornell, where he became Director of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute.[19] Glimcher was previously married to Hugh Auchincloss, who was a chief of Transplant Surgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital,[20] with whom she had three children, Kalah, Hugh and Jake Auchincloss.[21] In 2016, she had one grandchild.[22] Her daughter, Kalah Auchincloss, J.D., M.P.H., is an Senior Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Deputy General Counsel for Greenleaf Health following six years at the Food & Drug Administration as Deputy Chief of Staff for two FDA Commissioners.[23] Her older son, Dr. Hugh Glimcher Auchincloss, is also a physician, who was in training as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2016.[22] Her younger son, Jake Auchincloss, is a cybersecurity professional and a Newton, Massachusetts City Counselor-at-large following service as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.[24]

Women's involvement[edit]

Laurie Glimcher has been considered a champion of women's rights in the scientific by many of her peers. While she was at Harvard, she hired lab technicians with her own research fund to support her postdoctoral fellows after they had babies so that they were allowed to leave by 6. This carried on into Glimcher's involvement with the National Institutes of Health to create a similar postdoc grant program caring for family members.[25]

Glimcher served on the 2005 Larry Summers Task Force for Women in Science and Engineering, where she expressed her disappointment in the rate of progress for women in science. She joined this task force after a controversy was sparked when former Harvard president Larry Summers suggested that women might be able to innately do less in science. Although she was on the Larry Summers committee, Glimcher still believes that there is still more work to be done. She was quoted as saying: "There are not enough women in senior leadership positions, period. It hasn't gotten a heck of a lot better since I was in medical school".[25] After she was appointed to Cornell's medical school she immediately made changes regarding women's rights. She established paid maternity leave, created day care centers and another postdoc grant program for primary caregivers. Upon arriving at Cornell there were 0 out of 19 clinical department chairs filled by women; as of today there are 2.[25]

NYBC controversy[edit]

Protest outside Dr. Glimcher's home

From October 2015 to February 2016, Glimcher was the target of eight protests by animal rights activists angered by New York Blood Center's abandonment of 66 chimpanzees that had been used in medical research; Glimcher was a member of the board of directors,[26] which had voted to stop paying for care of the chimpanzees before she joined it.[26][27][28]

Glimcher said that the decision was made before her term on the board and said:

"As a scientist, I strongly support the ethical and humane treatment of animals used in research.... I have a great respect for these animals and recognize the value they bring in our pursuit of new cures for devastating human diseases."[26]

The New York Blood Center had funded a Liberian lab since 1974 where the chimps had been used for testing of different viruses. The New York Blood Center ended their funding of the Liberian lab in March 2015.[29]


  1. ^ "Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, named president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Boston, MA". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  2. ^ Neill, US (1 July 2016). "A conversation with Laurie Glimcher". The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 126 (7): 2392–3. doi:10.1172/jci88964. PMC 4922720. PMID 27367182.
  3. ^ Sedwick, Caitlin (2010-04-19). "Laurie Glimcher: Merging cell biology and immune function". The Journal of Cell Biology. 189 (2): 192–193. doi:10.1083/jcb.1892pi. PMC 2856904. PMID 20404104.
  4. ^ Jones, Dallas C.; Wein, Marc N.; Glimcher, Laurie H. (2007-01-01). Choi, Yongwon (ed.). Osteoimmunology. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer US. pp. 1–13. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-72009-8_1. ISBN 9780387720081.
  5. ^ "Recruited to lead Harvard med, 'fearless' scientist chose Dana-Farber". STAT. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  6. ^ a b Hartocollis, Anemona (September 7, 2011). "Harvard Researcher Chosen as New Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "New Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College Calls for Stronger Ties to Industry". Chronicle of Higher Education. September 8, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "BRIEF-Bristol-Myers Squibb Co says Laurie Glimcher notified co that she will retire from board". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "Harvard Announces Pioneering Collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. to Advance Osteoporosis Research". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  10. ^ official p. at Harvard
  11. ^ Hartocollis, Anemona (2011-09-07). "Laurie H. Glimcher Named Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  12. ^ a b "Bristol-Myers Squibb: Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D." Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  13. ^ "Recruited to lead Harvard med, 'fearless' scientist chose Dana-Farber". STAT. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  14. ^ a b Bailey, Melissa (March 2016). "Recruited to lead Harvard Med, 'fearless' scientist chose Dana-Farber". Stat News. Stat News. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Sedwick, Caitlin (19 April 2010). "Laurie Glimcher: Merging cell biology and immune function". The Journal of Cell Biology. 189 (189): 192–193. doi:10.1083/jcb.1892pi. PMC 2856904. PMID 20404104.
  16. ^ 16th Annual L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science - 2014
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Past Recipients". The American Association of Immunologists. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  19. ^ Hartocollis, Anemona (2011-09-07). "Harvard Researcher Chosen as New Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Glimcher Helps Women Balance Career, family". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  21. ^ "Science is in the bones for dad, daughter". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Recruited to lead Harvard med, 'fearless' scientist chose Dana-Farber". STAT. 2016-03-01. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  23. ^ "Kalah Auchincloss Joins Greenleaf Health as SVP". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  24. ^ "I just gave to Jake Auchincloss!". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  25. ^ a b c "Recruited to lead Harvard med, 'fearless' scientist chose Dana-Farber". STAT. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  26. ^ a b c "Weill Cornell Medicine Dean Accused of Chimp Abandonment". The Cornell Daily Sun. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  27. ^ Gorman, James (28 May 2015). "Chimpanzees in Liberia, Used in New York Blood Center Research, Face Uncertain Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  28. ^ Chimps in need after U.S. organization withdraws care -
  29. ^ "Weill Cornell Medicine Dean Accused of Chimp Abandonment". The Cornell Daily Sun. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2016-12-10.

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