Georgetown Lombardi’s Jeffrey Toretsky, MD, Named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2017) — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Jeffrey Toretsky, MD, a pediatric oncologist and researcher at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, to its 2017 class of fellows.

According to the NAI, election to NAI Fellow status “is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

“I’m pleased the NAI has recognized my work as a creative approach to problem solving in medicine as I particularly enjoy teaching others to use innovative approaches,” says Toretsky. “It is wonderful to be honored with this Fellowship by an organization whose goal focuses on innovations that can benefit society.”

Toretsky’s research centers on discoveries that will lead to new and more targeted therapies for Ewing sarcoma, a rare tumor that occurs in children and young adults. His work focuses on a unique target, EWS-FLI1, not found in normal cells, which offers the opportunity to create medicines that will more specifically eliminate tumor growth while sparing normal cells.

Toretsky is co-founder of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc., which is currently conducting a clinical trial with TK216, a first-in-class small molecule that directly targets EWS-FLI1. Toretsky’s early laboratory research led to the development of TK216. Georgetown has licensed the underlying technology for TK216 to Oncternal and Toretsky is now a paid scientific advisor to the company.

Toretsky was inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2007 and received the Burroughs-Wellcome Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research in 2008. He leads the molecular oncology program of the Georgetown Lombardi and maintains a clinical pediatric oncology practice.

Torestsky and the other 2017 fellows will be inducted as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on April 5, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

According to the NAI, the 2017 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000 issued U.S. patents. Including the 2017 class, there are a total of 912 NAI Fellows.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 AAAS Fellows; 168 IEEE Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center — the only cancer center of its kind in the Washington, D.C. area. A part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Georgetown Lombardi seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Connect with Georgetown Lombardi on Facebook ( and Twitter (@LombardiCancer).

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. Connect with GUMC on Facebook (, Twitter (@gumedcenter) and Instagram (@gumedcenter). Connect with Georgetown University School of Medicine on Facebook (, Twitter (@gumedicine) and Instagram (@GeorgetownMedicine).