OHSU scientists Lisa Coussens, John Crabbe named 2018 AAAS fellows

AAAS Rosette

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., chair and professor of cell, developmental and cancer biology, OHSU School of Medicine, and John Crabbe, Ph.D., senior research career scientist, VA Portland Health Care System, and professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, received one of the top honors from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

AAAS Fellows are presented a rosette pin with gold and blue colors to signify science and engineering, respectively (Photo above, AAAS)

On Nov. 27, they were named AAAS Fellows, an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Each year, the association elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.”

Lisa Coussens

Lisa Coussens Ph.D.
Coussens’ lab focuses on the role of immune cells in cancer and identifying new targets for therapies.

AAAS recognized Coussens in the biological sciences section for her work in “pioneering studies in the tumor microenvironment and in particular for determining roles of immune cells in promoting tumor progression thus identifying therapeutic targets.”

“I am humbled to receive this incredible honor by my peers,” said Coussens. “I consider this a recognition of the impact of the science that has come out of my laboratory throughout my career. I give thanks to the collaborators and teammates I’ve worked with over the years.”

In addition to her role with the OHSU School of Medicine, Coussens is OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s associate director for basic research, and she holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science. Her lab focuses on the role of immune cells in cancer and identifying new targets for therapies to block critical steps in the interactions between tumors and infiltrating immune cells. Coussens came to OHSU in 2011 from the University of California, San Francisco.

John Crabbe

John Crabbe Ph.D.
Crabbe’s current studies explore how to improve environmental factors to offset genetic risk of alcoholism.

AAAS recognized Crabbe in the neuroscience section for “distinguished contributions to the field of behavioral genetics, particularly the pharmacogenetics of alcohol dependence and withdrawal and genes mediating susceptibility to drug abuse.”

“This is a completely unexpected and amazing honor,” said Crabbe. “I have been blessed by being surrounded by terrific Portland friends, collaborators, colleagues, trainees and staff for many years. I particularly thank all the mice and the devoted VA veterinary staff who have helped keep them cooperating with our work. I hope the next generation of neuroscientists will be able to complete the task of translating the basic genetics findings into better ways to align an individual’s risks with more effective treatments.”

Crabbe is one of the world’s leading experts in using mouse genetic models to understand human dependence on alcohol. His lab has produced, through selective breeding, a binge-drinking line, which rapidly exceeds the legal limit for intoxication. His research focuses on not only seeking to understand why but also which specific genes might increase or decrease the risk for binge drinking. Their current studies are exploring how to improve environmental factors to offset genetic risk and testing novel compounds to reduce drinking. Crabbe has been on the OHSU faculty since 1979.

This year, 416 AAAS members have been awarded this honor. The new fellows will be recognized on February 16, 2019, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.