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barker-anna

Dr. Anna Barker

Director, National Biomarker Development Alliance & Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems

CAS at ASU serves as a knowledge-network based construct that enables creating solutions to complex multidimensional problems in biomedical research and biomedicine. In her role as Co-Director of CAS, Dr. Barker develops and leads trans-disciplinary and trans-sector network (teams) that focus on convergent knowledge, innovation, publically available data and new funding models to improve the treatment and prevention of disease. Much of her work is focused on cancer. Two examples of current initiatives include the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA) and the Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) AGILE (adaptive, global, innovative learning environment) trial (most common and deadly adult brain tumor). The former is a non-profit dedicated to creating end-to-end standards based systems models for biomarker discovery and development; and the latter is the first Bayesian driven adaptive global trial for GBM. 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 a number of strategic transdisciplinary programs, 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 emphasize the synergy of large- scale and individual-initiated research; precompetitive collaborations, publically available data and clinical translation. She also oversaw the NCI’s international cancer research programs, including pilot programs 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 is the founding director of the NBDA. She served as a senior scientist and subsequently as a senior executive at Battelle Memorial Institute for 18 years, and cofounded, and served as the CEO of a public biotechnology company before joining the NCI. She has received a number of awards for her work in support of cancer research, cancer patients, professional and advocacy organizations, and the national effort to prevent and cure cancer. Dr. Barker’s research interests include complex adaptive systems, biomarker discovery and development, new clinical trials models and free-radical biochemistry in cancer. She completed her MA and Ph.D. degrees at The Ohio State University, where she trained in immunology and microbiology