Download Full Image
At the NCI, Barker developed a number of strategic programs focused on the development of knowledge networks that emphasized innovation, publically available data, team science and convergence of the biological and physical sciences. Some of the programs planned and developed under her leadership included: The Cancer Genome Atlas, co-developed with the National Human Genome Research Institute to identify all genomic and molecular changes in cancer; the Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer, a network dedicated to developing and applying nanotechnologies; and the Physical Sciences Oncology Centers that connects physicists, mathematicians, engineers and cancer scientists dedicated to developing a fundamental understanding of cancer.
Barker collaborated with the leadership of the FDA to create and co-chair the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force, which was designed to reduce barriers in the development cycle of cancer drugs and diagnostics. During her years at NCI, Barker also worked with research communities to develop national resources such as high quality bio-banks and bioinformatics platforms needed to support personalized medicine.
“Dr. Barker has vast experience developing large-scale initiatives involving transdisciplinary teams of researchers,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “She will be a tremendous asset to the university as we work to improve human health through the convergence of a variety of disciplines.”
“This hire was a strategic effort by ASU to address gaps in our expertise and create new opportunities for our students and faculty,” added ASU Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi. “We are exceedingly pleased that Dr. Barker has chosen to join us.”
Before working at NCI, Barker served in several senior executive roles at Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit research and development organization. She was also co-founder and CEO of a public biotechnology company that developed therapeutic drugs and companion diagnostics to control reactive oxygen damage, and she founded a private cancer technology company.
“With a background in government, nonprofits and private industry, Dr. Barker brings a wealth of expertise to ASU,” said R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, ASU senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “She will collaborate with the Biodesign Institute, Health Transformation Initiative and various schools to advance ASU’s leadership in the area of healthcare transformation.”
“I am pleased to be joining ASU – truly a university that embraces innovation and is tackling some of America’s and the world’s toughest challenges in healthcare and beyond. ASU is a great institution to lead the development of new transdisciplinary and multi-institutional knowledge network models of research dedicated to solving real-world healthcare problems,” Barker said.
Barker received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, where she studied immunology and microbiology.