Forbes magazine’s annual 30 under 30 list has a Triangle representative.

Josh Sommer, executive director of The Chordoma Foundation, made the Forbes list of top young disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Sommer, 24, was a freshman at Duke University in 2006 when he was diagnosed with chordoma, a rare bone cancer that has no approved drug treatment.

On average Chordoma patients survive seven years.

“Frankly, being 18 years old and having a lot to look forward to I didn’t want to accept those statistics,” Sommer told Forbes. 

Sommer joined the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke, which has the only federally-funded chordoma research lab in the country. Sommer worked with Kelley but with the lab short on money and material, Sommer dropped out of Duke to raise funds.

Since founding The Chordoma Foundation in 2007 Sommer has raised $2.5 million, which has been used to fund research in 11 labs.

Each year, Forbes compiles a list of 30 bright, promising young people in 15 categories. Sommers was listed in the Science and Healthcare category. Sommer and several others listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 will be recognized during the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention in Chicago next month. BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.

Sommer’s Bio as published by the foundation:

Josh Sommer is Executive Director of the Chordoma Foundation, which he co-founded to speed the pace of chordoma research after he was diagnosed with a skull-base chordoma in 2006. Following his diagnosis, Josh spent two years studying chordoma in the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke University, where he published two research papers on chordoma. In 2008, he was awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurship to work for the Chordoma Foundation. To complement his work with the Foundation, from 2008 to 2011 he served as a Fellow in Strategic Philanthropy and Health in Duke’s Program on Global Health and Technology Access, where he studied different models for sharing of scientific data and biological materials. He currently serves a member of the National Cancer Institute Director’s Consumer Liaison Group, the Moffitt Cancer Center Total Cancer Care External Advisory Board, and the Board of Advisors of the Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation. For his efforts to advance chordoma research, Josh was honored by ABC News as a Person of the Year in 2008.