Anna Barker

Arizona State University, USA

Dr Barker is Co-Director of Complex Adaptive Systems at Arizona State University (ASU), which serves as an organising construct to understand and solve multidimensional problems in biomedical sciences and biomedicine. She develops knowledge networks that leverage convergent knowledge in the biological and physical sciences, innovative teams, and novel funding approaches to better prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases. Prior to joining ASU, Dr Barker served for several years as the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute(NCI) where she developed and implemented strategic transdisciplinary programmes, including: the Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer; The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) (in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute); the Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative for Cancer; the Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers; and national initiatives in biospecimen best practices and bioinformatics. All of these programs emphasise the synergy of largescale and individual-initiated research, pre-competitive collaborations, publically available data and clinical translation to more effectively detect, prevent and treat cancer. She also oversaw the NCI’s international cancer research programmes, including pilot programmes in Latin America and China. Dr. Barker was the founding Co-Chair of the NCI-FDA Interagency Task Force, founding Co-Chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarker Consortium, and founding Director of the NBDA. She has a long history in research and in the leadership and management of research and development in the academic, non-profit, and private sectors. Dr Barker served as a Senior Scientist and subsequently as a Senior Executive at Battelle Memorial Institute for 18 years and co-founded and served as the CEO of a public biotechnology drug development company. She has received a number of awards for her work in support of cancer research, cancer patients, professional and advocacy organisations, and the ongoing national effort to prevent and cure cancer. Dr Barker’s research interests include complex adaptive systems, evolutionary medicine and free-radical biochemistry in cancer etiology and treatment. She completed her MA and PhD degrees at The Ohio State University, where she trained in immunology and microbiology.