An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
By Michael Easterling | May 30, 2018
Stephen J. Forman Stephen J. Forman, M.D.
Stephen J. Forman, M.D., the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, has been inducted as a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP). Membership is awarded to those physicians who indicate a “pre-eminence and the highest caliber of physician-led science accomplishments and scientific leadership.”

Existing and emeritus members of the organization can nominate others for membership. Forman was nominated by Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., the Dr. Michael Friedman Professor in Translational Medicine, and vice president and deputy director of City of Hope's comprehensive cancer center, with Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., former chair, Population Sciences, seconding the nomination.

A legend at City of Hope, Forman has been a leader in the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation research since the early 1980s. His specialties include relapse prevention, eliminating post-transplant cytomegalovirus infection and patients with HIV lymphoma. Currently, Forman’s laboratory is pioneering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR T) cell therapy for hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

Under Forman’s leadership, City of Hope’s Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation performs more than 700 transplants a year (more than 14,000 since the program began 42 years ago). The department has achieved an “outstanding” rating 13 years in a row from the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research, which ranks institutions based on care and clinical outcomes. City of Hope has become one of the largest bone marrow transplant programs in the country, consistently exceeding the national average in patient survivorship.

Forman is internationally known as an expert in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation, and he is the co-editor of "Thomas’ Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation," considered the definitive textbook for clinicians, scientists and health care professionals around the world.

As director of the T Cell Immunotherapy Laboratory, Forman is leading a team of City of Hope scientists in translational research to develop CAR T-engineered cells for the treatment of both blood and solid tumors. He also established the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute, providing his scientific vision and coordinating lab and clinical research efforts.

“Dr. Forman fosters a philosophy of collaboration and innovation that incorporates investigators from multiple disciplines to translate our basic science observations into clinical trials,” said Kwak. “He exudes the special blend of zealous determination and compassion typical of City of Hope. “This is best illustrated by Dr. Forman’s own words about treating patients: ‘We come to work every day thinking cure. Once we’ve extended our hand and grabbed yours, we don’t let it go.’”

AAP is an honorary medical society founded in 1885 to advance scientific and practical medicine. The organization currently has more than 1,700 active members and 600 members emeritus.