OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker a trailblazer in cancer research, treatment

Brian Druker, M.D., helped usher in an era of personalized cancer medicine with his discovery that cancer cells could be shut down by disabling the molecules that drive their growth without harming healthy cells
Brian Druker, M.D., is director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University and JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research. Druker revolutionized the treatment of cancer with a discovery that turned a once-fatal cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, into a manageable condition. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)
Brian Druker, M.D., is director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University and JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research. Druker revolutionized the treatment of cancer with a discovery that turned a once-fatal cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, into a manageable condition. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

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 Druker as a pioneer in the field of precision medicine.  Most important, his discovery became a new proof of principal for targeted therapies, spurring the development of more than 50 similar precision therapies for other cancers.

Since then, Druker has been 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, Druker and team have developed a large-scale early detection program called CEDAR that builds upon the scientific strengths of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Druker has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Sjöberg Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Prize from Harvard Medical School, the Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research, the Japan Prize in Healthcare and Medical Technology, the Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, and the Prince Mahidol Award for outstanding achievements in medicine and public health worldwide. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

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