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Francis Giles, MD, Joins Northwestern as Director

Francis Giles

New Developmental Therapeutics Institute

Northwestern Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University are launching a discipline-defining research program devoted to uniting and expanding our investment in the burgeoning field of developmental therapeutics. This field creates a continuous synergistic loop linking pre-clinical basic science breakthroughs to the use of novel approaches to prevent cancer, to better predict its causes and behavior, and to develop better treatments for patients who suffer from cancer.

The Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) will thrive from the collaboration of Northwestern University and external basic scientists, translational researchers, and clinical investigators who have a shared passion for and particular expertise in developmental therapeutics. NMDTI will act as a center to optimize our partnerships with peer institutions and biotechnology, device, pharmaceutical, and theranostic companies—all focused on the ultimate goal of developing novel approaches that will improve public health and outcomes in patients, both adult and pediatric, suffering from cancer or other diseases that share relevant features with cancer.

Through the NMDTI, we will enhance our current focus on bringing life-changing discoveries from the laboratory to our patients as quickly and as safely as possible. Recent success stories present a compelling case to advance this field.

Francis J. Giles, MB, MD, FRCPI, FRCPath

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is pleased to welcome Francis J. Giles, MD, MB, FRCPI, FRCPath, who will serve as Director of the NMDTI. A cancer specialist with more than two decades of experience, Dr. Giles has led the development of novel drugs, immunotherapies, and other highly targeted approaches, including cancer-directed viruses, monoclonal antibodies, and molecularly directed agents. He has served as principal investigator on numerous national and international First in Human, Phase I, II, and III clinical studies of many novel agents, and holds numerous patents and technology licenses.

Dr. Giles has focused his clinical and research efforts on providing therapy for patients suffering from treatment-resistant or refractory cancer. He has pioneered the use of many agents that are now in regular use as targeted therapies for patients with cancer.

Among his many accolades, Dr. Giles was recently elected as a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences. He earned his primary medical degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and a Doctorate in medicine from NUIG in 2003. He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Pathology (United Kingdom). Dr. Giles has particular interests in the mentoring of developmental therapeutics physician-scientists and in international collaborations across the bioscience spectrum.

Prior to joining Northwestern, Dr. Giles was Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway. He is a Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at both NUIG and Trinity College Dublin. Previously, Dr. Giles served as Deputy Director of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center, San Antonio; Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology; and Director of the Institute for Drug Development. His prior positions include serving as Professor in the Division of Cancer Medicine at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and as a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founder and Chairman of both the International Oncology Study Group and the Developmental Therapeutics Consortium. He has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed articles on bioscience research in academic journals.

"The last decade has seen enormous progress in anti-cancer therapy," says Dr. Giles. "We are turning incremental knowledge of the pathologies that drive cancer into very targeted, effective therapies. NMDTI will accelerate this continuum for patients suffering from cancer as well as for patients suffering from the increasing number of non-malignant diseases that share common therapeutic targets with cancer. With the combined resources of Northwestern Medicine and the Lurie Cancer Center, NMDTI is optimally positioned to make a major contribution to this global effort."

The NMDTI outpatient facility is located on the 5th floor of Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital, 250 E. Superior Street, Chicago.

For additional information, contact NMDTI@northwestern.edu, call 855.82 NMDTI (855.826.6384) or visit nmdti.org.

(Last updated on March 31, 2014 )