Jeffrey Wolf, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Director, Myeloma Program and Grand MMTI
Dr. Jeffrey L. Wolf is an expert in cancer of the bone marrow and blood as well as an expert in bone marrow transplantation to treat these cancers. His primary area of research is myeloma, the second most common cancer of the blood. He is the director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Wolf earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago and completed a residency in medicine at the University of California in San Diego. He completed a hematology and oncology fellowship at UCSF and a bone marrow transplantation rotation at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. He helped establish the bone marrow transplant program at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif. in 1979 and the first community-hospital-based bone marrow transplant unit at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley in 1984. Dr. Wolf, who joined the UCSF Division of Hematology and Oncology in February 2007, is a clinical professor of medicine at UCSF.
Thomas Martin, III, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Director, Clinical Research, Hematologic Malignancies Program
Associate Director, Grand MMTI
A leading expert in hematology-oncology, Dr. Thomas Martin is the associate director of the Myeloma Institute and director of the Unrelated Donor Transplantation Program for adults at UCSF Medical Center. He is also clinical research director of hematologic malignancies, or blood cancers, at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research interests include developing treatments for myeloma and leukemia as well as expanding the use of bone marrow transplants. He has a special interest in umbilical cord blood transplants and is involved in efforts to improve the outcomes following unrelated donor transplants.
Dr. Martin earned an undergraduate degree at Cornell University and a medical degree at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, Conn. After a medical residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., Dr. Martin completed fellowships in hematology-oncology at UCSF, where he was promoted to an adjunct professor of medicine, division of hematology and oncology. In 1999, he joined MD Anderson Cancer Center as an assistant professor of medicine and in 2001, rejoined the faculty at UCSF.
Peter Walter, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry/Biophysics
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Dr. Walter is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Since joining the UCSF faculty in 1983, Dr. Walter has served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics and as director of the Cell Biology Graduate Program. He also chaired design and governance committees for UCSF’s new Mission Bay campus. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of institutes and universities abroad. Dr. Walter earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Free University of Berlin, an M.S. in organic chemistry at Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in cell biology in Dr. Günter Blobel’s laboratory at The Rockefeller University. During his thesis work in Dr. Blobel’s laboratory, Dr. Walter discovered that secreted proteins are recognized and targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum by the signal recognition particle (SRP) in eukaryotic cells.
Dr. Walter’s laboratory at UCSF is engaged in studying protein folding and protein targeting. His group discovered a feedback loop, called the unfolded protein response (UPR) that operates in all eukaryotic cells and serves to adjust the cells’ protein folding capacity according to need. The UPR has been shown to be dysfunctional in a number of diseased states, including myeloma. Dr. Walter has published extensively with 166 peer-reviewed publications, 72 reviews & commentaries, and multiple editions of 2 books, including Molecular Biology of the Cell. Dr. Walter is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Gairdner International Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Nobel prize), the Wiley Award in Biomedical Sciences, and the Otto Warburg Medal, the highest honor within the German community of biochemists and molecular biologists.
James Wells, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind Distinguished Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Wells is the Harry W. and Diana Hind Professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California at San Francisco. From 1998 to 2005 Dr. Wells was a co-founder, Director, President and CSO of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery and development company using a novel site-directed drug discovery technology. Prior to Sunesis, he held the position of Staff Scientist at Genentech for 16 years where he helped build the Protein Engineering Department and developed technology for designing second-generation protein therapeutics. Dr. Wells’ current research focuses on protease signaling pathways and site-directed chemical biology, a new field that systematically interrogates the roles of specific sites on proteins in cells using small molecules. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and been named inventor on more than 60 patents issued or filed. He has won a number of research awards including the Hans Neurath Award presented by the Protein Society in 2003, the Cutting Award Lecture at Stanford University in 2005 and the Perlman Lecture Award of the ACS Biotechnology Division in 2006. In 1999 he was elected Member to the National Academy of Sciences, USA. Dr. Wells received his B.A. degree in biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Washington State University in 1979 and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Post-doctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University prior to joining Genentech in 1982.
Kevan Shokat, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Dr. Shokat joined UCSF in 1999 where he is currently a professor and chairman of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Shokat is a pioneer in the development of chemical methods for investigating cellular signal transduction pathways—with a particular focus on protein kinases and lipid kinases. His laboratory has developed chemical methods to decipher the role of individual kinases and their cellular signaling networks. His goals are to understand each kinase’s role in the body and to learn which kinases should be targeted to treat diseases such as cancer and immune dysfunction. He has published over 175 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Dr. Shokat was a co-founder of Intellikine which was purchased by Millenium/Takeda in 2012. He is a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards including 5AM Ventures, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Receptos Pharmaceuticals, and is a member of the Scientific Research Board of Genentech. He has received numerous awards for his work, including being named a Fellow of the Pew Foundation, Searle Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Glaxo-Wellcome Foundation, and the Cotrell Foundation. He has also received the Eli Lilly Award, given to the most promising biological chemist in the country under the age of 37. Dr. Shokat is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Shokat completed Post-Doctoral work at Stanford in 1994 and received a Ph.D. in 1991 from the University of California at Berkeley.
Marc Shuman, MD
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Urology
Dr. Shuman is Professor of Medicine and Urology and former leader of the Prostate Cancer Program in the Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF. In addition to being an oncologist-hematologist, he spends a significant portion of his time as head of the UC Berkeley – UCSF Masters in Translational Medicine Anti-Medical School course. His research is focused on understanding the genetic and biochemical mechanisms of tumor progression in cancer. Previously at UCSF, Dr. Shuman was chief of the Hematology and Oncology Division, and held positions in the Comprehensive Cancer Center, including Associate Director for Research and Education, Associate Director for Program Development, and a member of the Cancer Center Executive Committee since its inception. He served as Director of the Molecular Medicine Program in the School of Medicine for several years. He obtained his MD from Thomas Jefferson Medical College and has practiced at UCSF since 1976.
Jack Taunton, PhD
Associate Professor of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Dr. Taunton joined UCSF in 2000 where he is currently an Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His lab focuses on the design and discovery of chemical tools to selectively modulate proteins in living cells, with the aim of inventing small molecules that demystify complex cellular processes relevant to human disease. This work allows for the identification of novel targets in disease and insights into chemical compounds that can modulate those targets. Dr. Taunton has seen this happen before. In 1994, as a graduate student, he was the first to purify enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC1). He used a fungal compound, trapoxin, to purify and identify HDAC1 from bovine tissue and human cancer cells. While trapoxin was never a drug, his work paved the way for anticancer drugs eventually approved by the FDA more than a decade later.
Dr. Taunton has received numerous awards for his work, including being named a Fellow of the Searle Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, He completed Post-Doctoral work at Harvard Medical School in Cell Biology in 2000 and received a Ph.D. in 1996 from Harvard University.
Davide Ruggero, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Urology
Helen Diller Family Endowed Chair in Basic Research
Dr. Ruggero joined UCSF in 2007 where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology and holds the Helen Diller Family Endowed Chair in Basic Research. His research is centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which impairments in accurate control of mRNA translation, cell growth, and overall cellular protein synthesis rates lead to cancer and human disease. Dr. Ruggero’s group was at the forefront of the discovery that deregulations in the proteome may serve as a common mechanism elicited by multiple oncogenic signals (i.e. PI3K-AKT-mTOR, Ras, Myc) to cause cellular transformation and may overshadow the effects on the transcriptome. Utilizing state-of-the-art biochemical, molecular, and genetic approaches within the context of unique animal models, his lab is uncovering novel mechanisms for cancer initiation at the post-genomic level.
Dr. Ruggero has received numerous awards for his work. He has been named a Fellow of the Enichem Society and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation in his graduate and postdoctoral career. In 2005 he received the prestigious V Scholar Foundation’s Award for Cancer Research for his work on deregulations in protein synthesis during lymphomagenesis. Most recently, Dr. Ruggero was named a recipient of the Phi Beta Psi Sorority National Project Research Award and the UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research Award. He was the recipient of the 2008 AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award and is a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar. Dr. Ruggero received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1998 from the University of Rome in Italy. He completed his post-doctoral training in molecular oncology and cancer genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He joined UCSF from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia where he was an Assistant Professor in the Cancer Genetics Department.
James L. Rubenstein, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Dr. James Rubenstein is a hematologist-oncologist whose expertise is in the treatment of patients with aggressive lymphoid malignancies. His research interest is in the elucidation of the genetic features of recurrent, refractory disease and in the development of immunologic tools to improve therapeutic response in cancer.
Dr. Rubenstein completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University in New York. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Stanford University Medical Center followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCSF. He is a recipient of a Career Development Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a Research Career Award from the National Cancer Institute and is a Scholar in Clinical Research of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He is an associate professor of medicine, in residence.
David Toczyski, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Dr. Toczyski received his PhD at Yale University with Joan Steitz, where he studied Epstein Barr Virus latency. He was a Jane Coffin Child’s fellow in the laboratory of Leland Hartwell at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he identified a genetic pathway controlling a process, which he named checkpoint adaptation, which inactivates the DNA damage checkpoint in the face of persistent signaling. Dr. Toczyski is currently a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, where he served as the co-leader of the Cell Cycle Regulation Program. He has been at UCSF for 13 years, where he has served on several advisory panels, including the Graduate Curriculum Committee and the Mission Bay Advisory Group. Dr. Toczyski is a Leukemia and Lymphoma Scholar, is an editor and reviewer for numerous journals and has served on the review boards for multiple agencies both in the US (the NIH, NASA, NSF, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and others) and internationally for Canada, England, Ireland, Croatia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland and Israel.
Dr. Toczyski’s work focuses on the response of cells to DNA damage and cell cycle regulation. Over the years, Dr. Toczyski’s laboratory has made several key observations explaining the mechanisms by which cells recognize DNA damage, activate the checkpoint pathway, and the ways in which that pathway impinges upon cell growth. Dr. Toczyski also investigates mechanisms by which the ubiquitin ligase pathway controls cell growth and division. These two areas represent critical areas of cellular physiology altered during tumorigenesis.
Elad Ziv, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Dr. Ziv joined the faculty at UCSF in 2001. His group focuses on identifying genetic variations that underlie risk for malignancies by using insights from epidemiology and population genetics. They have successfully mapped the genes for ethnic neutropenia in African Americans and have recently mapped genetic loci for breast cancer in Hispanic populations. Dr. Ziv’s group is studying the genetic variation underlying multiple myeloma susceptibility and progression.
Dr. Ziv completed his undergraduate degree at Yale and received his M.D. from UCSF. He also completed his residency and did his post-residency research training at UCSF.
Jeffrey M. Venstrom, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Dr. Venstrom is a physician-scientist trained in oncology and human immunology. His laboratory focuses on translating our basic knowledge of innate immunity to develop novel therapeutic strategies for patients with cancer. Current projects in the Venstrom laboratory aim to determine the influence of natural killer (NK) immune cells in anti-tumor immunity. In multiple myeloma, they are working to establish new immune-based targeting strategies for predicting responses to treatment and for designing new treatment combinations for patients with multiple myeloma.
Dr. Venstrom completed clinical and post-graduate research training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He received his graduate medical training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and additional research training at the National Institutes of Health. He has published articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical Cancer Research, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and others. He is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, a Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, a Young Investigator Award from the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Foundation and a Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.