Lymphoma & Leukemia Program

About Lymphoma and Leukemia

Since lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system, a major scientific goal of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Program is to use knowledge gained from immunology to understand and treat lymphoid malignancies. This goal is being accomplished by gaining better understanding of the biology underlying lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms and to apply this knowledge to improve the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. In working toward this goal, this broad research program encompasses major aims of: 

  • Disease pathogenesis 
  • Clinical pathological relationships 
  • Use of biomarkers in patient stratification 
  • Novel therapeutics 
  • Clinical trials

Program members have emphasized translational research to the clinic in diagnostics and novel therapeutics, and from the clinic to the laboratory in correlative studies on tissues matched with clinical events.

The laboratory-based projects are focused on the characterization of leukemia stem cells; elucidation of signaling pathways in individual tumor cells; determination of mechanisms of lymphomagenesis with specific attention to the MYC oncogene, and analysis of the role of the immune system in specific relation to lymphomas and leukemias.

Novel diagnostics have been developed, including the discovery of founder genetic mutations and novel tests for monitoring tumor responses using cell-free DNA. 

Future plans include combining targeted small molecules with immunotherapies in the hope of replacing current cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens with safer, more effective therapies.

Program Directors

Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor in the School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology)
(650) 721-6376