Oliver Guillermo, PhD

St. Jude faculty member named 2011 AAAS Fellow

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awards the distinction to noted researcher Guillermo Oliver, Ph.D., for his work in developmental biology


Memphis, Tennessee, December 21, 2011

Guillermo Oliver, Ph.D., member of the Genetics Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has been elected a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Oliver is being honored for his contributions to the field of developmental biology and the lymphatic vascular system.

For more than a decade, the lymphatic system has been a key focus of Oliver’s research. Oliver and his colleagues provided the initial demonstration of how the lymphatic system forms in a mammalian embryo from Prox1-producing cells destined to become lymphatic endothelial cells when they leave the developing veins and migrate throughout the body. His laboratory’s contributions include the first evidence showing that, in addition to their well-established functional roles, leaky lymphatic vessels might contribute to obesity. Based on those initial results, they speculated that other subtle defects in the lymphatic vasculature might also impact the immune response or in a pathological setting alter the metastatic spreading of tumor cells.

“Dr. Oliver is one of the leading developmental biologists in the world, and this honor is further recognition of his work and his leadership in advancing understanding of the lymphatic vascular system,” said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO.

Oliver has been at St. Jude since 1996, having previously worked in Uruguay, Mexico and Germany. His work has been published in scientific journals including Cell, Nature Genetics, Developmental Cell, Genes & Development, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Other St. Jude faculty members who are currently AAAS Fellows include Evans; James Downing, M.D., deputy director and scientific director; Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., Oncology chair; and Charles Sherr, M.D., Ph.D., Tumor Cell Biology chair.

The AAAS fellowship is based on scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Members are elected to the organization by their peers. AAAS has been electing accomplished scientists to its society since 1874. The new class of fellows will be inducted in February 2012 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. Follow us on Twitter @StJudeResearch.

Comment on this release.