Dr. Brian Druker

Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University

Personalized Medicine Pioneer Dr. Brian Druker Considers the Future of Cancer Therapy

Having established the first drug to selectively target cancer cells, Imatinib, Dr. Brian Druker is heralded as a pioneer in the field of precision medicine. Here, Druker shares his personal motivation to study cancer, what it takes to reach a breakthrough, and how today’s technology is accelerating us towards the future of cancer therapy.

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Dr. Brian Druker
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Dr. Brian Druker

Biography

Director, Knight Cancer Institute More

Dr. Brian Druker

Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University

Brian Druker, M.D., revolutionized the treatment of cancer through research that resulted in the first drug to target the molecular defect of a cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Marketed under the name Gleevec®, his discovery turned a once-fatal cancer, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, into a manageable condition. Treatment with Gleevec received FDA approval in record time, was featured on the cover of Time magazine, and established Dr. Druker as a pioneer in the field of precision medicine. Most important, his discovery became a new proof of principle for targeted therapies, spurring the development of more than 50 similar precision therapies for other cancers. Now, Dr. Druker is applying key principles of precision medicine to early detection. Earlier detection of lethal cancers represents the greatest opportunity to increase cancer survival rates. Thanks to $1 billion in philanthropic funding, Dr. Druker is developing a large-scale early detection program that builds upon the scientific strengths of OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute. Druker has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Warren Alpert Prize from Harvard Medical School, the Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research, and the Japan Prize in Healthcare and Medical Technology. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.