IASLC 2021 Board of Directors Election Results

Blue Image of the globe with hexagons around it

We are pleased to announce the results of the 2021 IASLC Board of Directors (BOD) election. We received a strong slate of candidates for a limited number of open Board of Directors positions, and the IASLC thanks you for taking part in this process.

From submitting nominations and campaigning to sharing your thoughts and opinions, your engagement, enthusiasm, and passion are central to why the IASLC remains the premier global lung cancer research organization. 

Please join us in thanking our Nominating Committee for their service, and in welcoming our returning board members: Drs. Heather Wakelee, Tetsuya Mitsudomi, Andrea Bezjak, Roy Herbst, Erik Thunnissen, and Caicun Zhou.

Our sincere thanks to those board members who will rotate off in September 2021: Drs. Giorgio Scagliotti, Enriqueta Felip, Suresh Ramalingam, Julie Brahmer, Anne Fraser, Clarissa Mathias, Yuko Nakayama, Masayuki Noguchi, Nir Peled, and James Yang.

Of 3,855 eligible voters, 1,167 ballots were cast over the course of the election, a participation percentage of 30.2%. Votes were cast in 48 countries, with the largest turnout being from the United States, followed by Japan.

The newly elected IASLC board members will officially assume their roles at the upcoming IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer Denver | Worldwide Virtual Event (WCLC 2021) on September 8-14, 2021. These new board members will serve a four-year term (2021-2025) and will help shape the direction and strategy of the IASLC. 

We look forward to working alongside this incredible group of medical professionals as together we continue to provide you with the world-class experience you have come to expect as members of the IASLC.

As an IASLC Board member, how do you envision helping the organization adhere to its international and multidisciplinary mission? 

See the newly elected board members' full answers below by clicking on the red + on the bottom of their block. 


HEadshot of Dr. Van Shill

Paul Van Schil

Thoracic Surgeon, University Hospital of Antwerp, Antwerp,

As a thoracic surgeon, I have had a special interest in thoracic oncology for many years and as an active member of several international societies, I will try to strengthen not only the surgical input in IASLC but also the involvement of other minor specialties such as radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and nuclear imaging. Interaction with these related disciplines has to be intensified. This is critically important as these specialties represent quite a large group within the IASLC membership, and multidisciplinary cooperation is becoming increasingly important.  Equally, involvement of nurses, other health care workers and patient groups has to be stimulated further, as they represent the true core of our association. Further involvement of fellows and younger specialists will bring “new blood” into the society as they will build the future of our association. A good example is the Staging Committee where very recently, a call was launched for younger colleagues to participate in this committee and already prepare the 10th edition of the TNM classification.  I have learned much from previous board members and especially Dr. Giorgio Scagliotti and Dr. Tetsuya Mitsudomi who, as dedicated presidents, guided the IASLC through challenging times. I highly respect the incoming president, Dr. Heather Wakelee, for her great contributions and leadership in thoracic oncology. As our specialties are complimentary, I am convinced we are able to establish a strong executive committee and guide a truly international and dedicated board of directors. In this way, we will also be able to strengthen the scientific impact of IASLC.


Designated European Pulmonary

Headshot of Dr. Aerts

Joachim Aerts

Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam,

I envision helping the organization by using my experience and my enthusiasm for IASLC’s aims and missions. I strongly believe that an international and multidisciplinary team of experts can move the field towards a better treatment for our patients and achieve more in prevention. Global collaboration is essential nowadays, as we have learned from the COVID pandemic. The IASLC is the global organization bringing together all experts in the field of thoracic oncology, with the mission to study, educate, optimally treat, and eventually eliminate thoracic malignancies. This global coverage is, however, also complicated to manage given the differences between countries in culture, needs, treatment, and research options. I consider this a challenge which I want to work on, and my strong international experience will be helpful in this job.  I serve as Chair of IASLC’S Education Committee where we are working on global education and have initiated a plan for more regional educational programs to fill local needs. I consider a multidisciplinary team essential given the complexity of treatment, but even more important to make progress in treatment options. During my long-term international research projects on lung cancer and mesothelioma, with the integration of basic, translational, and clinical research, I have enjoyed collaborating with investigators and physicians from different countries and backgrounds. I believe this experience, along with my former leadership positions, will be helpful in the task of the board of directors.


Designated Nurses & Allied Health Professionals

Morton Quist

Morton Quist

University Hospital, Copenhagen,

My highest qualification to serve on the IASLC Board is the desire to improve the everyday life of patients with lung cancer. During my work and research, I have developed interventions (national and international) for early and advantage stage lung cancer with an aim of improving functional capacity and quality of life. All interventions are multidisciplinary, so the patient's perspectives are addressed with diversity. As a member on the IASLC Board, I would be the first allied health professional to serve the board and contribute to a multidisciplinary organization where multidisciplinary means an involvement of Nurses, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Dietitians, etc. and an increased focus on patient-centered clinical intervention research, supportive care and palliation. etc. and an increased focus on patient-centered clinical intervention research, supportive care, and palliation.

Designated Latin America

Headshot of Dr. Ferreira

Carlos Gil Moreira Ferreira

Oncoclinicas Institute, Rio de Janeiro,

To help the organization to adhere to its international and multidisciplinary mission, I intend:  to strengthen local anti-tobacco policies; to create forums and offer resources to discuss the challenges of doing research in South America and other developing areas including costs, regulatory issues, and difficulty in recruitment and to emphasize the many advantages of performing trials in developing countries such as availability of patients, lower costs and faster accrual; to increase the application of young fellows from LATAM and other developing areas to IASLC fellowship opportunities; to create forums to discuss strategies to improve access of lung cancer patients from developing countries to innovative diagnosis and therapy strategies; to significantly increase the number of Members from Latin America by creating close relationships with local Medical and Research Societies; and to continue promoting the LALCA Meetings, increasing the discussion of local issues.   

Medical Oncology: North America

Headshot of Dr. Sequist

Lecia Sequist

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts,
United States

I am honored to be on the 2021 election slate for the IASLC Board of Directors among a list of very esteemed peers. I would like to share my motivations for serving the organization and its members in this capacity. We are making unprecedented progress as a field, but our patients still face daily stigma and roadblocks in accessing recommended care. Lung cancer screening is a powerful tool which could save hundreds of thousands of lives and yet it is woefully under-utilized. I have the knowledge and experience to grow and strengthen multidisciplinary teams, skills I have acquired over the last 17 years working in lung cancer patient care, translational research and team science, scientific grant writing, manuscript publishing, peer/editorial review, education, mentoring and patient advocacy.  I am especially committed to bringing new voices to the conversation. I place high value on the international aspect of IASLC and know that through involvement in the board I can personally dive in to increase equity for both lung cancer professionals but more importantly, for patients with lung cancer around the world.  Finally, I am passionate about developing the next generation of diverse leaders in our field, equipped with a broad set of tools. They will need to be fluent not only with cutting-edge research and clinical care skills, but also with specific training to effectively engage the public, policymakers, survivors, and advocates in a global conversation about eliminating lung cancer. I have never been more excited to be part of this vibrant community and would be honored to serve the IASLC community as a board member.


Headshot of Dr. Tsao

Ming Sound Tsao

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario,

Pathology and biomarkers play critical roles in the implementation of precision oncology. During the last decade, the IASLC Pathology Committee have played leadership roles in improving the classification of thoracic malignancies (WHO classification book on Thoracic Tumors), standardization of biomarker assays (Blueprint projects), and knowledge transfer on optimal pathology and biomarker practices (Atlases, webinars and white papers on biomarker testing). These efforts were taken in collaboration with many global academic and industrial partners. However, a recent global survey by the IASLC still revealed significant continental and regional disparities in biomarker testing. With experience leading many of the IASLC Pathology Committee initiatives, I shall be a strong advocate on ways and means for greater integration of pathology and biomarker testing to advance global quality of thoracic cancer diagnosis and treatment, through multidisciplinary and multilateral collaboration and research projects. I shall also promote ideas in making IASLC and its publications as the priority knowledge resource for all involved in the care, diagnosis, treatment, education, and research of thoracic malignancies.

Asia/Rest of World

Headshot of Dr. Kim

Young Tae Kim

Seoul National University, Republic of Korea,
South Korea

The recent development of target agents and immunotherapies and the discovery of the genomic alteration of lung cancer is drawing the attention of many IASLC members. However, many surgeons have not fully given their attention to these developments, as their primary interests remain focused on developing their surgical skills. Nevertheless, knowledge of lung cancer genomics has become essential to understanding lung cancer's biological behavior and designing effective treatment plans. As a surgeon, I had the opportunity to collaborate with basic researchers and achieve fruitful discoveries in the area of lung cancer genomics and immunotherapies. Based on my experience, I can develop diverse IASLC programs that will attract the attention of surgeons. I also believe the IASLC should take practical measures to reach out to currently underrepresented geographic regions and developing countries where support from the IASCL is needed. Through my work with the AATS and Women in Thoracic Surgery, I established educational travel scholarships for doctors in developing countries, an effective outreach approach that expanded participation for underrepresented groups in important educational programs. I believe that my broad experience has prepared me well for a possible new role as an IASLC Board member. If I am given the opportunity to serve on the IASLC Board, I will do my best to lead the IASLC to step forward and carry out the initiatives outlined above.

Medical Oncology: Open

Headshot of Dr. Gray

Jhanelle Gray

Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida,
United States

Since 1974, the IASLC is the premier global network dedicated to the study and eradication of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. With a mission to embrace the multi-dimensional study of lung cancer, to provide education about lung cancer to the medical community and public, and to use all available means to eliminate lung cancer, this position aligns with my own ideals and aspirations of improving patient care and access, partnering with providers, other health care professionals, and patients as well as expanding the impact of research across global communities.  Further, this position provides the opportunity to continue to give back, engage, and mentor members across various disciplines and formulate ways to shape priorities to help advance IASLC’s mission.  By identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders and offering diverse platforms in which ideas can be exchanged, we can overcome barriers together and the scope of our impact can expand exponentially.  As an IASLC Board member, l will help drive the pace and direction of the Association and help orchestrate the strategic plan to best accomplish goals and objectives.  I am dedicated to the IASLC mission and hope to have the opportunity to further build on what has previously been created, thereby leveraging my skills, experience, and talents to be an asset to the position and to IASLC.

Multi-Specialty, Multi-Region, Female

paula ugalde

Paula Ugalde

University Institute of Cardiology & Pneumology, Quebec City,

I am recognized as an international mentor within the Women in Thoracic Surgery organization, and I have the experience of working in numerous countries, including Canada, the US and Brazil with linguistic fluency in four languages. I believe my multi-national reach is an important asset and is emblematic of the mission of the IASLC, which includes international education. I have a large international network in South America and North America, and I will dedicate my work to stimulate international cooperation (attract members, inclusion in prospective database, education, large studies, attract people to meetings and WCLC). I also want to integrate thoracic surgery within IASLC, with a special attention to women in thoracic surgery (staging, combined modality treatment, publications, education of surgeons e.g., lymph node dissection). We must devote time to help women advance in their academic career and identify role models to stimulate young surgeons to devote their aim for excellence.

Board of Directors Testimonial

Heather Wakelee
Heather Wakelee | IASLC President-Elect 2019 - 2021
My interest in IASLC has also been strengthened by the value I place on the international aspects of the discussions. It has been so amazing for me personally to realize that there are people all around the world with parallel lives to mine—they are physicians dedicated to treating patients with lung cancer and they face a lot of the same challenges as me and share the same sense of excitement while witnessing these incredible advances in the field.