Deputy Director for Research Thomas J. Kipps
Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and director of the Clinical Trials Office at Moores Cancer Center. His laboratory focus is the immunobiology and genetics of human B-cell malignancies, with emphasis on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The study of CLL cells serially collected from patients before, during, or after relapse from therapy allows for 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 that attracts CLL patients seeking improved treatment. 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 novel 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 has organized and leads the CLL Research Consortium, composed of leading investigators at major cancer centers across the country and abroad.
As Deputy Director for Research, Dr. Kipps also has specific responsibility for encouraging cooperative research involving all three divisions (basic, clinical, and prevention) in the Moores Cancer Center. Duties involve oversight of center support for peer-reviewed research projects, and intimate participation in the formulation of policy to encourage and facilitate current and future outstanding research.