Researcher Spotlights

Print

UCLA researchers are world-renowned for their pioneering discoveries in cancer research, prevention and treatment. In this informative and fascinating spotlights, meet our members and learn how their leading-edge cancer research is helping to transform the fight against cancer.

Dr. Jackie Casillas

Improving life after cancer

For most children being diagnosed with cancer, it is no longer a death sentence, says Dr. Jackie Casillas of UCLA’s Life After Cancer Clinic. In fact, nearly 80 percent of all pediatric cancer patients will survive past five years and beyond, thanks to...

Dr. Amander Clark

Studying stem cells to conquer cancer

Amander Clark made a pretty big entrance into the world. She was one of two sets of twins born on the same day, a Friday the 13th, in a small town of 10,000 that is four hours west of Melbourne, Australia...

Dr. Gay Crooks

Exploring the human side of stem cell biology

For many scientists who are clinicians and researchers, balancing the demands of both disciplines can feel more limiting than it is liberating. But for Dr. Gay Crooks, a physician who specializes in bone marrow transplantation...

Dr. David Dawson

Breaking barriers in pancreatic cancer research

Dr. David Dawson has never been intimidated by the odds. An assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and a researcher at UCLA, Dawson is tackling one of medicine’s fiercest enemies, pancreatic cancer...

Drs. Fredrick Eilber and Fritz Eilber

The doctors Eilber: battling sarcoma

When Dr. Frederick Eilber first began operating on sarcoma patients in the early 1970s in the new surgical oncology division at UCLA, most of his procedures were limb amputations. None of his patients were given...

Dr. Noah Federman

Making a difference in pediatric cancer

Being a pediatric oncologist may seem to some like a heartbreaking profession. But for Dr. Noah Federman, a researcher at UCLA who cares for children and young adults with cancer, it is anything but...

Dr. Richard Finn

Discovering new ways to treat cancer

Richard Finn was a senior in high school and thought he knew exactly where his life was headed. He planned to attend the University of California, San Diego, and study to become an electrical engineer like his father...

Dr. Patricia Ganz

Changing the face of survivorship

For two decades, Dr. Patricia Ganz has conducted ground-breaking research that has changed the face of cancer survivorship. Ganz is considered the top national expert on quality of life after breast cancer, and...

Dr. Isla Garraway

Raising awareness of prostate cancer

Isla Garraway was a researcher working toward her doctorate degree in a lab at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center when her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994. He was just 61...

Dr. Sara Hurvitz

Searching for better breast cancer therapies

When Sara Hurvitz entered medical school, she wasn’t sure what field she wanted to pursue let alone whether or not medicine was her true calling. But she knew she was in the right place when she heard...

Dr. Siavash Kurdistani

Blazing new trails in personalized cancer treatment

It was a long and sometimes treacherous road that brought Dr. Siavash Kurdistani from his native Iran to his research lab at UCLA. Born in Tehran, Kurdistani’s childhood and adolescence coincided with the 1979 revolution...

Dr. Linda Liau

Fighting to beat brain cancer

Dr. Linda Liau stands outside the neurosurgical operating room at UCLA on an August morning, amiably talking with her husband about who is going to pick up the kids after school. Her spouse is also a...

Dr. William Lowry

Digging beneath the surface of skin cancer

Discovery is only skin deep for scientist William E. Lowry. Trained in epidermal biology, the UCLA assistant professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology spends much of his laboratory time isolating stem cells in skin...

Dr. Allan Pantuck

Taking cancer research from bench to bedside

Allan Pantuck always knew he wanted to be a physician. His father was an anesthesiologist, his mother a chemist. Together they did research for Columbia University on how diet and nutrition impacted drug metabolism...

Dr. Kathrin Plath

Building the foundation for life-changing discovery

Kathrin Plath appreciates the basics. She grew up on the east side of the Berlin Wall but can’t recall going without. In her spare time she enjoys a good book, classical music and a game of tennis. At UCLA, her focus is basic science...

Dr. Robert Reiter

Breaking new ground in prostate cancer research

Dr. Robert Reiter is used to breaking new ground. Only a handful of scientists were doing prostate cancer research when he came to UCLA a dozen years ago. Back then, in the lab Reiter discovered prostate stem cell antigen...

Dr. Antoni Ribas

Helping the immune system fight cancer

When Dr. Antoni Ribas first came to Los Angeles, he intended to stay only a short while and then return to Spain, his home country. Ribas came to UCLA to learn about gene therapy from Dr. James Economou, a leader in...

Dr. Maie St. John

Stopping the spread of head and neck cancer

Dr. Maie St. John vividly recalls her childhood visits to Egypt—annual trips that shaped her calling as a doctor and scientist. Each summer she would travel halfway around the world from her home in Texas...

Dr. Dennis Slamon

Winning endeavor: the story of Herceptin

Dr. Dennis Slamon’s development of Herceptin revolutionized breast cancer treatment and accelerated research into therapies customized for each individual patient. The creation of the drug has earned him...

Dr. James Wohlschlegel

Combining technology and training to find answers

James Wohlschlegel came to science at a time when his two interests could intersect—the global analysis of proteins with mass spectrometry and using his biological chemistry training to study cell signaling pathways...

Dr. Lily Wu

Unlocking the secrets of metastatic cancer

Lily Wu grew up in a house of engineers. While her science is just as exacting, Wu took a different path—cancer research. “I was always quite keen on biology in animals and in people, so I thought I would become...