Deputy Director for Research Thomas J. Kipps
Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, has an international reputation for his work in cancer research, immunology and gene therapy. His laboratory research focuses on the immunobiology and genetics of human B-cell malignancies, with emphasis on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dr. Kipps’ team collects serial samples from patients with CLL to support the investigation of the genetic and biologic features associated with tumor progression, therapeutic response or resistance to therapy. Discovery of features that distinguish CLL from their normal cell counterparts has helped identify new targets for therapy and/or define surrogate markers associated with more rapid rates of cancer progression or resistance to standard therapy.
These studies are integrated with a clinical investigative program, comprised of both investigator-initiated and commercially sponsored clinical studies, that attracts CLL patients seeking improved treatment strategies. Dr. Kipps’ team has identified molecular markers that can segregate patients into subgroups with different risks for disease-progression, or different probabilities of response to conventional treatment. This enables testing of the safety and relative efficacy of novel agents developed for treatment of all patients with CLL, or subgroups of patients hypothesized to have the best potential response to new therapies. Because CLL cells can be harvested from the blood, it is possible to study primary tumor cells obtained from patients during therapy. This allows testing of whether novel targeted therapies are hitting their intended target, and whether this is associated with a clinical response to therapy.
To further these efforts on a national scale, Dr. Kipps directs the multi-institutional, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored CLL Research Consortium (CRC) and UC San Diego Blood Cancer Research Fund. In addition, he is a two-time awardee of the NIH MERIT Award and will direct the Specialized Center of Research in Leukemia at UC San Diego, supported by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
As Deputy Director for Research, Dr. Kipps is responsible for encouraging cooperative research involving basic, clinical and prevention divisions at Moores Cancer Center. His duties involve oversight of support for peer-reviewed research projects and intimate participation in the formulation of policy to encourage and facilitate current and future outstanding research. Dr. Kipps is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research. He received both his PhD in immunology and MD from Harvard University and completed his residency and fellowship training in internal medicine, hematology and genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Kipps is the author of more than 350 peer-reviewed publications.
Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD