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Cleveland Clinic Names Director of Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, a renowned cancer researcher and a pioneer in using genomics to determine patients’ response to immunotherapies, will lead the newly created center, which exists at the intersection of cancer research, therapeutics and care.


Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, has been appointed director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic, a collaboration between the Lerner Research and Taussig Cancer Institutes.

A renowned immuno-oncology and cancer genomics expert, Dr. Chan leads the new center, which brings together multidisciplinary experts from across the Cleveland Clinic enterprise to advance research and treatment related to the rapidly growing field of immuno-oncology.

The center will comprise four arms, including a city-wide cell therapy program in collaboration with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and will recruit national and international experts in computational science, immunotherapy and cancer immunology. The new center will initially have sites in Cleveland and the soon-to-open Cleveland Clinic Florida Research and Innovation Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida, both focused on immunotherapy research and developmental therapeutics.

Dr. Chan will also collaborate with experts in the new Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens Research, which is focused on broadening understanding of immunology and microbial pathogenesis with the goal of improving treatment for a variety of diseases, including virus-induced cancers.

“Immunotherapy is the future of research in cancer and various other diseases and Cleveland Clinic has made it a priority by establishing this new center,” said Serpil Erzurum, MD, chair of Lerner Research Institute. “The Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology will empower clinicians and scientists throughout the enterprise to advance personalized care and breakthrough immunotherapy research at Cleveland Clinic.”

Dr. Chan joins Cleveland Clinic from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell School of Medicine, where he leads the Immunogenomics and Precision Oncology Platform and was a tenured professor, the Paine Webber Chair and the Translational Oncology Division chair. He is an internationally recognized expert in precision immuno-oncology and a pioneer in using genomics to determine which patients will respond best to certain types of immunotherapies. He has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, made landmark discoveries in his field and received numerous awards, including the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award in 2018.

“Innovation in precision immunotherapy is one of the most exciting areas in cancer research,” said Brian Bolwell, MD, chair of Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. “The addition of Dr. Chan, a pioneer in cancer genomics, and the new center’s focus on research and clinical trials will strengthen our ability to provide advanced treatment options for our patients.”

Dr. Chan also joins the leadership of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He has joint appointments in Genomic Medicine and Taussig’s Department of Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Chan earned his MD and PhD in genetics from Johns Hopkins University, where he also completed a residency in radiation oncology and a postdoctoral fellowship in the division of tumor biology. He is board certified in radiation oncology and is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians.

Article originally posed in the Cleveland Clinic Newsroom.

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