Madhav Dhodapkar, M.D.
Dr. Madhav V. Dhodapkar is the newly appointed Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Hematology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Until recently, he was the Irene Diamond Associate Professor and Head of Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Rockefeller University in New York. He also holds an adjunct clinical faculty appointment at the neighboring Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Dhodapkar obtained his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He completed his medical training in hematology and medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic. In 1995, Dr. Dhodapkar was appointed as an assistant professor at the myeloma institute at the University of Arkansas. In 1998, Dr. Dhodapkar moved to the Rockefeller University as an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology. In 2001, he was promoted to Head of laboratory at Rockefeller, and in 2004, to an Associate Professor. Dr. Dhodapkar has received numerous awards for his research, including those from the Mayo Clinic, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Irma T Hirshl Trust, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the New York Community Trust.
Dr. Dhodapkar's research and clinical activities focus on plasma cell dyscrasias, including multiple myeloma. His laboratory is focused on studying the role of host tumor interactions in the development of myeloma, with a particular focus on the immune system. He is also studying several approaches to boost the immune system against cancer, including the use of dendritic cell based vaccines. He has also served as the principal investigator on several major national clinical studies in plasma cell dyscrasias, and currently serves as the vice chair of the myeloma committee of the South West Oncology Group. He has authored over 60 publications in his area of research.
Olivera Finn, Ph.D.
Dr. Finn has been working in the area of tumor immunology for over 20 years. She obtained her Ph.D. in 1980 from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she also completed her postdoctoral training. She was on the faculty of Duke University before coming to Pittsburgh in 1991. She currently directs the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Immunology Program.
Dr. Finn has a long and distinguished track record as a superb research mentor of both predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Her laboratory was one of the first to study human T cell responses against tumors, and one of the first to identify a human tumor antigen, MUC1, capable of stimulating cytotoxic T cells. Her work led to the identification of a unique peptide epitope on that molecule culminating in 1993 in the approval of the synthetic version of this epitope as an investigational new drug by the FDA, which is now in Phase II clinical trials as a vaccine for pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Finn has recently undertaken a similar research strategy in lung cancer, and her laboratory has identified a cyclin B1 antigen in lung tumor cells. Her new data demonstrate that the cyclin B1 protein is over-expressed in preneoplastic lesions of the human airway, as well as in most lung tumors. In addition to her interest in cyclin B1 as a target for immunotherapy, Dr. Finn is now directing her research toward use of cyclin B1 as a biomarker for early detection of lung cancer.