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Anna Barker

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Professor of Practice and Distinguished Visiting Fellow

As co-director of CAS-Biomedicine, Anna Barker designs and implements new research knowledge networks, projects and models to address major problems in biomedical research and biomedicine. She currently focuses on complex systems science as applied to the discovery and systems development of biomarkers, next-generation clinical trials and the applications of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics for biomarker discovery.

Prior to ASU, she served as the Deputy Director and Deputy Director for Strategic Scientific Initiatives for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she developed and led transdisciplinary programs such as the Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA); Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiatives and the Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers. She was founding co-chair of the NCI-FDA Interagency Task Force (IOTF), founding co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium (FNIH-BC), and was responsible for the NCI’s international cancer research programs. She was a senior executive at Battelle Memorial Institute for 18 years where as a Senior Vice and Group President she pioneered key initiatives in cancer research and biomedicine. Barker was also co-founder and CEO of a public biotechnology company focused on novel strategies to control reactive oxygen damage in inflammatory diseases and cancer.

She serves on a number of boards of for profit and non-profit organizations, as chair of national committees and in strategic advisory roles. Current examples include:   Member, Board of Trustees, Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute; Friends of Cancer Research Board of Directors; Senior Fellow, Milken Institute, Faster Cures; Board Member, Quantum Leap Health Collaborative (ISPY 2 trials network); Chair, Data Standards Committee and Advisor, Biden Cancer Initiative; Chair, AACR Scientist Survivor Program; MIT New Digs and LEAP Initiative, Program Advisor; Member, and member of the Caris Scientific Advisory Board.

Barker has received a number of awards for her cancer research, policy and advocacy efforts. Recent awards include; the 2009 AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research; 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Arts and Sciences, The Ohio State University; and the 2018 AACR Distinguished Award, Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Science Policy and Advocacy.  She received her master's degree and doctorate at The Ohio State University, where she trained in immunology and microbiology.

  • Ph.D. Immunology and Microbiology, The Ohio State University
  • M.A. Immunology and Microbiology, The Ohio State University