Sujuan Ba, Ph.D.

Dr. Sujuan Ba is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and is recognized as one of the “Top 300 Women Leaders in Global Health” by the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Dr. Ba oversees NFCR’s strategic directions for fundraising, financial planning, scientific direction and partnership development. Under Dr. Ba’s leadership NFCR has established a powerful network of research centers and laboratories in the United States, Europe, and Asia – a network which has enabled NFCR Scientists to focus on critical aspects of cancer research. These centers — and the NFCR-funded scientists located in each of them — work collaboratively across disciplinary, institutional, and geographic boundaries, on a wide array of innovative basic and translational cancer research.

One of the highest-profile and most significant research programs to emerge from this cross-center collaborative approach was the ScreenSaver-LifeSaver Project. Dr. Ba established a partnership between NFCR, United Devices, Inc., Intel Corporation, and Oxford University in the United Kingdom to launch a distributed computing technology-based application, which sped up the drug screening process by linking together more than 3 million PC users around the world to create the world’s largest supercomputer. This program enabled scientists to perform virtual screenings of 3.5 billion small molecules against some twelve target proteins to identify new anti-cancer drug candidates. The project cut years off the lengthy drug discovery process for many potential cancer therapies.

Since 2003, Dr. Ba has led the creation of the Tissue Bank Consortium in Asia (TBCA) to promote best practices for biorepositories and biobanks, and for building international collaboration platforms for tissue-based cancer research. She has served as the Co-Chair of TBCA’s Executive Steering Committee for the past ten years, and under her stewardship, the project has been proclaimed an exemplary international platform for private, public and government partnership for international collaboration in the fields of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic development.

In 2005, Dr. Ba helped to establish NFCR’s annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research, an international prize in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement in the war against cancer. She has served continuously as co-chair of the Prize Selection Committee over the last nine years. During this period, the prize has grown into one of the premier cancer research awards in the world.

In addition to her work at NFCR, Dr. Ba founded the Asian Fund for Cancer Research (AFCR) in 2006. AFCR is a non-profit organization headquartered in Hong Kong that is committed to: (1) implementing in Asia the newest cancer research discoveries and technologies from around the world; (2) investigating the distinct causes of cancer in Asian populations through innovative genetic and molecular research; and (3) developing more effective therapies tailored to Asian cancer patients.  As President and CEO of AFCR, Dr. Ba oversees the fund’s collaborative research initiatives and public education programs in Hong Kong, Greater China, and throughout Asia.

Dr. Ba currently serves on the executive committee of the Global GBM-AGILE Trial, a global initiative to improve the survival of GBM patients with a global force of over 150 neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, pathologists, imagers, basic and clinical neuro scientists, from academic, industry, and government. This is perhaps the first example of “crowdsourcing knowledge”, a model that aims to breakdown silos and build knowledge bases to ensure that precision medicine is available to patients worldwide.

Dr. Ba also serves on the Organizing Committee for the 2015 Personalized Medicine Conference, a cross-industry, cross-disciplinary panel made up of providers, payers, educators, researchers, and government agency representatives—all committed to personalized medicine.

She served as a Past President (2010-2011) Board of Directors (2006-2013) and is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association–USA (Rockville, MD). She also serves on the International Consulting Committee of the China National Research Center for Translational Medicine (Shanghai). She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Medelis, Inc. (Fountain Hills, AZ) and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The American Breast Cancer Guide and Chinese Journal of Cancer. She also served on the Membership Committee of the International Union against Cancer (Geneva).

Dr. Ba is a member of BayHelix, an invitation-only organization of leaders of Chinese origin in the global life sciences and healthcare community based in San Francisco with regional offices in Shanghai and Beijing. In 2011, she was invited as one of a few business leaders to join Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Trade Mission to Asia and visited China, Korea, and Vietnam with Governor O’Malley. She was also honored with an Outstanding Alumna Award by Peking University in 2005.

Prior to joining NFCR, Dr. Ba was the Director of Chiral Chemistry and Fine Chemical Consulting Services at Technology Catalysts International (TCI) where she conducted market research, business evaluation, and competitive intelligence for an international clientele of major chemical and pharmaceutical companies. From 1991-1997, she was a Principal Research Chemist and then Project Manager of Technology Development and Research Planning at Arco Chemical Company (ARCO).

Dr. Ba received her B.S. in radiochemistry from Peking University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.