New Research Faculty Hires

 

Andrea Bild, Ph.D.

Andrea Bild, Ph.D., serves as professor in the Division of Molecular Pharmacology within the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research. She comes to City of Hope from the University of Utah, where she was an associate professor and director of Genome Sciences.

Dr. Bild obtained her B.S. at the University of Florida, her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, and carried out her postdoctoral training at Duke University.

Dr. Bild’s research program focuses on cancer, and uses large-scale translational genomic and pharmacological studies to interrogate and treat tumor heterogeneity and evolution to refractory states. She has led multiple collaborative groups with the goal of characterizing and treating cancer.

As a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium and principal investigator of multi-institutional grants, her team focuses on the development and application of multi-omic tools in the clinic for cancer prevention and treatment. With clinician collaborators, Dr. Bild’s team has initiated and carried out multiple clinical trials that use systems biology and genomic characterization of patient tumors to prevent cancer resistance and progression.

Jianjun Chen, Ph.D.

Before joining Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope as a full professor and associate chair of the Department of Systems Biology in October 2017, Jianjun Chen, Ph.D., had been serving as an Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine for a few years after moving from University of Chicago.

Dr. Jianjun Chen received his Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China, and then conducted postdoc training with Dr. Janet D. Rowley at University of Chicago. He launched his independent laboratory in 2009 in the Department of Medicine at University of Chicago.

Dr. Chen is a Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) (2017) and Researcher of the Year, The Pamela B. Katten Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation Award (2014). Dr. Jianjun Chen is a permanent Member of the NIH Developmental Therapeutics (DT) study section and his research program is currently supported by four R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Joseph Geradts, M.D.

Joseph Geradts, M.D., has joined City of Hope as clinical professor in the Department of Population Sciences. He serves as founding director of the new Multi-Scale Translational Research Core Laboratory. He comes to City of Hope from Boston, where he was senior pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with a joint appointment at Harvard Medical School.

Geradts holds an master's degree in endocrinology from the University of California Berkeley and an M.D. degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed a residency in anatomic pathology at the University of California San Francisco, a fellowship in surgical pathology at Stanford University Medical Center and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He is board-certified in anatomic pathology.

Previously, Geradts held combined clinical, research and teaching appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Oxford University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Duke University. He also worked in Cambridge, England, as head of molecular pathology in oncology at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, where he directed the development and performance of tissue-based biomarker assays to assess the utility and efficacy of novel targeted cancer therapies.

Geradts’ research interests include intratumoral heterogeneity, the molecular pathogenesis of breast cancer and biomarkers of breast cancer progression. He has collaborated on numerous cancer research projects with investigators from a wide range of disciplines, in addition to conducting his own extramurally funded breast cancer research program, resulting in about 140 peer reviewed scientific publications. He also served as reference pathologist and core director of the UNC and Duke Breast Cancer SPOREs. 

Geradts’ diagnostic focus is in surgical pathology, oncologic pathology and particularly diseases of the breast. He also has expertise in digital image analysis and automated quantitation of cancer biomarkers.

Nora Heisterkamp, Ph.D.

Nora Heisterkamp, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Systems Biology. Prior to City of Hope she was at the University of Southern California, where she was a Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Heisterkamp is a pioneer in cancer genetics and uncovered the structure of the so-called “Philadelphia chromosome” (Ph), the first known genetic lesion that was discovered as a cause of cancer in humans. After graduate training at the University of Groningen and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Dr. Heisterkamp joined the lab of John Stephenson, first at the Laboratory of Viral Carcinogenesis, a division of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Together with lab partner John Groffen, Ph.D., Dr. Heisterkamp identified the chromosomal translocation breakpoint of the Ph chromosome characteristic of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She cloned and named the Breakpoint Cluster Region (BCR) gene and subsequently demonstrated that the BCR and ABL1 genes are rearranged in CML to form the BCR-ABL1 oncogene in Ph+ leukemias. The first BCR-ABL1 transgenic mouse model, generated by Dr. Heisterkamp demonstrated that BCR-ABL1 is indeed the causative genetic lesion in Ph+ leukemias. In 2016, Drs. Heisterkamp and Groffen received the Janet Rowley Prize from the International CML Foundation for their outstanding lifetime contributions to the understanding of the biology of CML.

Dr. Heisterkamp is a permanent member of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) Tumor Microenvironment Study Section. Her studies are supported by two R01 grants from the NCI.

Michael Kahn, Ph.D.

Michael Kahn, Ph.D., has joined City of Hope as professor and associate chair in the Department of Molecular Medicine. He comes to us from the University of Southern California, where he was the first appointed Provost Professor, with joint appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Keck School of Medicine and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology in the School of Pharmacy. He was also the co-leader of the GI-Oncology program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as the Center for Drug Discovery and Development at USC.

After completing his postdoctoral training at Columbia University with Professor Gilbert Stork, Dr. Kahn subsequently did a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology, where he first became interested in utilizing novel chemistry to complement and enhance the investigation of complex biological signaling pathways.

Dr. Kahn’s research program is focused on the integration of basic science (biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and chemistry) with translational medicine. His lab utilizes a forward chemical genomic strategy to identify and validate novel pharmacologic tools to study complex signaling pathways in development and disease. Utilizing a proprietary chemical library, his lab identified the first specific CBP/β-catenin antagonist ICG-001, which has been fundamental in studies involving both normal somatic stem cell and cancer stem cell biology. From a translational perspective, these studies led to the development of the second-generation CBP/β-catenin antagonist, Wnt modulating drug, PRI-724. These efforts resulted in the clinical trials of PRI-724 in colon and pancreatic cancer, leukemia and liver fibrosis.

His lab is currently continuing basic research investigations concerning differential Kat3 coactivator usage (i.e. CBP versus p300) in somatic stem cell biology and cancer, regenerative medicine and aging. The lab is also investigating modulation of Wnt/β-catenin in the immune response. CBP/ β-catenin inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy may provide a significant benefit. Another area of interest to his lab is the endogenous mechanisms that control the differential usage of these coactivators and the role that the N-termini play as a nexus for the integration of a number of additional signaling pathways (e.g. Stat1/2, nuclear receptor family e.g. RAR/RXR, Vit D) with the Wnt signaling cascade. Dr. Kahn is applying this forward chemical genomic strategy to additional critical signaling cascades with the broader goal of developing novel small molecule therapeutics.

Ke Ma, M.D., Ph.D.

Ke Ma, M.D., Ph.D., has a long-standing dedicated interest in metabolic disease research. Following her medical training from Shandong Medical University with an M.D. degree, Dr. Ma pursued doctoral studies in lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular disease research at Baylor College of Medicine. Her subsequent postdoctoral research at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology led to one of the leading studies on the metabolic benefit of the bile acid receptor FXR in improving glucose homeostasis, and a molecular link she discovered between the circadian clock network and bile acid metabolism. This innovative work garnered her the prestigious AstraZeneca Diabetes and Metabolism Research Fellow Award from the Endocrine Society.

Dr. Ma established a successful independent research on circadian clock control of metabolism as a tenure-track assistant member at the Center for Diabetes Research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute prior to her recruitment to City of Hope. She is currently an associate professor of the Department of Diabetes Complications and Metabolism within the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope. Her current research are supported by multiple grants from the American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and National Institute of Diabetes and and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Dr. Ma has served as reviewers for many scientific journals including Cell Reports and Diabetes. She has served on the grant review panel for the American Heart Association since 2012.