Lynne Elmore, PhD

Scientific Director, Extramural Discovery Sciences

Why I Work at the ACS

“For about 18 years, I directed a cancer research program at a university. I wanted to leverage my scientific expertise to do even more to help end cancer - without ignoring my passion for education, mentoring, and community outreach. I closed my lab door when the American Cancer Society gave me that opportunity, and I’m grateful to be part of the ACS family.”

At ACS since 2017

As Scientific Director of the Cell Biology and Preclinical Cancer Research program in the Extramural Discovery Sciences department, Lynne Elmore, PhD, manages a research portfolio focused on:

  •  Cancer cell growth, differentiation, and progression (including metastasis)
  •  Experimental therapeutics
  •  Biomarker discovery and development

She also serves as the scientific liaison to the North Central and West Regions of the American Cancer Society, providing expert information, education and communication about cancer and the ACS research program to a variety of constituents, including applicants, grantees, ACS staff, and donors.

Elmore is committed to leveraging internal and external partnerships to promote scientific advancement for the benefit of cancer patients and to enhance training opportunities for cancer leaders of the future.

Research focus and accomplishments

For over 25 years my scholarly activities have focused on cancer and preparing the next generation of cancer researchers. Examples of my research achievements include:

  • Defining how Hepatitis B virus blocks p53’s ability to kill liver cancer cells.
  • Being an early proponent of accelerated cellular senescence of cancer cells impacting treatment response and tumor recurrence through telomere length-independent mechanisms.
  • Conducting foundational work on the role of local adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in creating a tumor microenvironment to stimulate breast cancer progression.

As a faculty member, I secured significant extramural funding, being the recipient of 18 grants, 9 as Principle Investigator. I have co-authored over 85 publications, 120 abstracts, and 13 book chapters.

My greatest satisfaction in academia was using my laboratory as a vehicle for teaching and mentoring trainees – from elementary-aged Girl Scouts to postdoctoral fellows. I was recognized by the Virginia Commonwealth University Goldwater Scholarship Committee for excellence in mentoring and voted “best basic science lecturer” by more than 200 VCU undergraduates enrolled in the survey course, The Biology of Cancer. Some of my mentoring highlights include participating in the NIH-sponsored:

  • Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) STEM Diversity Program
  • Bridges to Baccalaureate Dream-to-Goal Summer Biomedical and Behavioral Research Program


For a full list of Dr. Elmore's publications, visit her Google Scholar page.  


Work before ACS

  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Pathology
    • Associate Professor, 2012-2017
    • Assistant Professor, 2005-2012
    • Research Associate, 1998-2005
  • Scientific Member, Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA, 2006-2017

Professional organizations

  • American Association for Cancer Research, Active Member, 1994-current
  • Women in Cancer Research, Member, 2011-current
  • Health Research Alliance, Research Workforce and Early Development Working Group and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, Member, 2017-current
  • Blood Profiling Atlas in Cancer (BloodPAC), ACS liaison, 2020
  • Association for Women in Science, Member, 2014-2017


  • Postdoctoral Training: Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, 1994-1998
  • PhD: Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, 1988-1993
  • BA: Vanderbilt University, 1981-1984 

Personal life 

I enjoy yoga, hiking, and traveling - especially when it includes adventures with my husband and our 3 adult sons, who live in Boston, Denver, and Atlanta.