Contact Information
Karen S. Aboody, M.D.,
  • Professor, Department of Neurosciences and Division of Neurosurgery
  • Co-leader, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program


Professional Experience

  • 2009 - present, Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences and Division of Neurosurgery, Beckman Research Institute and Comprehensive Cancer Center of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2003 - 2008, Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology/Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2000 - 2002, Visiting Scientist, Neuro-Oncology Lab., Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Instructor, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1999 - 2002, Senior Research Scientist, Layton BioScience Inc., Sunnyvale, CA
  • 1999 - 2000, Visiting Scientist/Industry Fellow in Neurology, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1997 - 1998, Research Fellow, Neural Stem Cells, Department of Neurology, Division of Neuroscience & Joint Program in Neonatology Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 1990 - 1991, Research Assistant, Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • 2011 - present, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, TheraBiologics, Inc.


  • 1994 - 1997, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA., Molecular Neurogenetics Laboratory, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • 1993 - 1994, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Department of Pathology, Intern
  • 1993, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, M.D.
  • 1984, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Biological Basis of Behavior/Chemistry, B.A.


  • 2010, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Disease Team Award Stem Cell-Mediated Therapy for High-grade Glioma: Towards Phase I-II Clinical Trials
  • 2009, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Concept Award
  • 2008, Outstanding New Investigator Award - American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)
  • 2005 and 2008, Isadore Familian Memorial Grant Awardee, STOP CANCER
  • 2003, Career Development Award, STOP CANCER
  • 2000, Young Investigator Award, American Association of Neurosurgical Surgeons (CNS Tumor Section)
  • 2000, NIH-NCI Small Business Innovation Research Award Phase I-II
  • 1998, NICHD-NRSA Neurobiology Training Grant Awardee, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • 1997, Leffler Fellowship Awardee, Massachusetts General Hosptial, Harvard Medical School
  • 2007, U.S. Patent #7,186,409 Neural stem cells and use thereof for brain tumor therapy
  • 2008, U.S. Patent #7,393,526 Systemic gene delivery vehicles for the treatment of tumors


  • 2007 - present, International Society for Cellular Therapeutics
  • 2006- present, ASILOMAR International Brain Tumor Research and Therapy
  • 2006 - present, American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy
  • 2003 - present, Glial Invasion Forum
  • 2003 - present, International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • 2000 - present, Society for Neuro-Oncology
  • 2000 - present, American Association for Cancer Research, Women in Cancer Research


  • Zhao D, Najbauer J, Annala A, Garcia E, Metz M, Gutova M, Polewski M, Gilchrist M, Glackin C, Kim SU, and Aboody KS. Human neural stem cell tropism to metastatic breast cancer. Stem Cells Nov 14. doi: 10.1002/stem.784, 2011
  • Aboody K, Capela A, Niazi N, Stern JH, Temple S: Translating stem cell studies to the clinic for CNS repair: current state of the art and the need for a Rosetta stone. Neuron May 26;70(4):597-613, 2011
  • Frank RT, Najbauer J, Aboody KS: Stem Cells as an Emerging Platform for Antibody Therapy of Cancer (Review) Stem Cells 28;2084-87 2010
  • Thu M, Najbauer J, Kendall SE, Harutyunyan I, Sangalang N, Gutova M, Metz MZ, Garcia E, Frank RT, Kim SU, Moats RA and Aboody KS: Iron labeling and pre-clinical MRI visualization of therapeutic human NSCs in a murine glioma model. PLoS ONE 4(9):e7218, 2009
  • Frank RT, Edmiston M, Kendall SE, Najbauer J, Cheung CW, Tewodros K, Metz MZ, Kim SU, Glackin CA, Wu AM, Yazaki PJ and Aboody KS: Neural stem cells as a novel platform for tumor-specific delivery of therapeutic antibodies. PLoS ONE 4(12):e8314, 2009
  • Zhao D, Najbauer J, Garcia E, Metz MZ, Gutova M, Glackin CA, Kim SU, Aboody, KS. From the Cover: Neural Stem Cell Tropism to Glioma: Critical Role of Tumor Hypoxia. Mol Cancer Res 6(12)1819-829, 2008
  • Aboody KS, Najbauer J, Danks MK: Stem and progenitor cell-mediated tumor selective gene therapy (Review). Gene Therapy 15: 739-752, 2008
  • Gutova M, Najbauer J, Frank RT, Kendall SE, Gevorgyan A, Metz MZ, Gevorkian M, Edmiston M, Zhao D, Kim SU, and Aboody KS: uPA and uPAR mediate human stem cell tropism to solid tumors. Stem Cells 26:1406–1413, 2008
  • Aboody KS, Bush RA, Garcia E, Metz M, Najbauer J, Justus KA, Phelps DA, Remack JS, Yoon, KJ, Gillespie S, Kim SU, Glackin C, Potter PM, Danks MK: Development of a Tumor-selective Approach to Treat Metastatic Cancer. PLoS ONE 1(1): e23, 2006 Commentaries in Nature Clinical Practice 4:270-271, 2007, and on line in: PLoS Medicine (E:12,e482), Jan8, 2007, Jan 8 2007, Jan4, 2007
  • Danks MK, Yoon KJ, Bush RA, Remack JS, Wierdl M, Tsurkan L, Kim SU, Garcia E, Metz M, Najbauer J, Potter PM, Aboody KS: Tumor-targeted enzyme/prodrug therapy mediates long-term disease-free survival of mice bearing disseminated neuroblastoma. Can Res 67(1): 22-5, 2007
  • Aboody KS, Najbauer J, Schmidt NO, Yang W, Przylecki W, Wu, JK, Zhuge Y, Carroll, Black PM, Perides G: Targeting of melanoma brain metastases using engineered NSPCs. Neuro-Oncol, 8(2), 2006
  • Brown AB, Yang W, Schmidt N, Leishear KK, Rainov NG, Black PM, Breakefield XO, Aboody KS: Intravascular delivery of neural stem cell lines to target intracranial and extracranial tumors of neural and non-neural origin. Human Gene Therapy, Vol 14:18, 2003
  • Aboody KS, Brown A, Rainov NG, Bower KA, Liu S, Yang W, Small JE, Herrlinger U, Ourednik V, Black PM, Breakefield XO and Snyder EY: From the Cover: Neural stem cells display extensive tropism for pathology in adult brain: Evidence from intracranial gliomas. PNAS (cover + commentary), Vol 97:23:12846-12851, 2000


  • City of Hope - Main Campus (Duarte)
    1500 East Duarte Road
    Duarte, CA 91010

Media Expertise

Media Expertise