In This Section
Richard D. Klausner, MD

Richard D. Klausner, MD

Juno Therapeutics
Seattle, Washington

Class of 2018

A leading light in the cancer research field, Dr. Klausner is well known for his unwavering dedication and visionary leadership in the field of biomedical research and cancer, specifically as director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During his tenure at NCI, he successfully established national and international programs to support the spectrum of cancer research from basic research and technology to public health, resulting in improved diagnosis and treatment techniques, and decreased cancer incidence and mortality. He also oversaw the development of the NCI Vaccine Research Center, a unique branch of the institute focused on elucidating basic mechanisms of immunity and molecular virology, and determining the plausibility of exploiting vaccines and other immunotherapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

More specific to his own research accomplishments, Dr. Klausner has provided valuable mechanistic insights into cellular processes such as intracellular trafficking, translation, and protein assembly. He has also contributed to the understanding of post-translational gene regulation mechanisms through his study of iron metabolism. Furthermore, his investigations into the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein has led to further classification of the protein’s tumor suppressive function in the context of renal cell carcinoma. His discovery of the T Cell Zeta chain and how T cells are activated was the basic science breakthrough that lead to successful cell-based CAR-T cancer therapy.

Throughout his career, Dr. Klausner has consistently worked to apply the principles of science and technology to address the global cancer burden. He is currently working to develop innovative screening and diagnostic tests to facilitate early detection of various cancers. These tests seek to use liquid biopsies as a mechanism to detect circulating nucleic acids and tumor cells that may inform patient treatment strategies. He is also actively engaged in efforts to comprehensively catalog the various challenges that cancer patients experience following their initial cancer diagnosis. Notably, Dr. Klausner founded the Cancer Cell Therapeutics company Juno, a leading developer of successful cell-based cancer immune therapies.

Career Highlights

2017 Chair, Grand Challenge Advisory Panel, Cancer Research UK, Oxford, England
2016 Co-Founder, LifeMine Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts
2015 Founder and Director, GRAIL, Menlo Park, California
2013 Founder and Director, Juno Therapeutics, Seattle, Washington
2002 Co-Founder, Pathwork Diagnostics, Inc., Redwood City, California
2002 Executive Director of Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington
2000 Medal of Honour, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
1999 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1999 ASCI Award, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1998 Raymond Bourgine Award for Excellence in Cancer Research and Gold Medal of Paris
1997 Dickson Prize in Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1995-2001 Director, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
1995 President, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1995 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1993 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
1986 Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan