David Pellman is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Professor of Cell Biology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, the Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Associate Director for Basic Science at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He received undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Chicago. During medical school, he trained with Dr. Hidesaburo Hanafusa at the Rockefeller University. His internship, residency and fellowship in pediatric oncology were at Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His postdoctoral fellowship was with Dr. Gerald Fink was at the Whitehead Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Pellman has received the Damon Runyon Scholar Award, the Stohlman Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, the E. Mead Johnson Award and an NIH MERIT Award. He has been elected to the Association of American Physicians and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Lifetime Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology.
Dr. Pellman’s laboratory has made contributions to understanding cell division and how cell division errors drive rapid evolution of the genome. The group has uncovered mechanistic explanations for catastrophic mutational processes underlying genome alterations in cancer. His group’s accomplishments include: (1) the co-discovery of formin-dependent actin assembly and a mechanism for positioning mitotic spindles within asymmetrically dividing cells; (2) discoveries showing that whole genome duplication alters cell physiology, can promote evolutionary adaptation, and can drive tumor development; 3) the discovery of a mechanism explaining chromothripsis, a mutational process that generates rapid karyotype evolution in cancer and congenital disease.