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Hematologic Malignancies

Elizabeth Eklund, MD
Elizabeth Eklund, MD

Leo Gordon, MD
Leo Gordon, MD

Membership Roster

The Hematologic Malignancies (HM) Program of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University combines nationally recognized investigators in clinical research and investigators with expertise in basic sciences and translational research.

This multidisciplinary interdepartmental program has 36 members from 11 departments in 3 schools. Disease specific areas of focus for the program are acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Clinical investigators with interests in these areas work closely with laboratory investigators to develop novel translational approaches. Such collaborative interactions are fostered by a set of regularly occurring clinical and research oriented conferences.

The Program Leader is Elizabeth Eklund, MD and the co-leader is Leo Gordon, MD. Dr. Eklund is the chair of the Molecular Oncogenesis Study Section at the NIH and has chaired the Oncology subcommittee for the VHA. Her work in molecular mechanism of leukemia has been recognized by her peers through support by the NIH, VA, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dr. Gordon was co-chair of the ECOG lymphoma Committee from 1998-2009 and he has been co-PI of the Institutional ECOG grant for the past 20 years. Dr. Gordon has an international reputation in lymphoma clinical and translational research.

Program members have made significant contributions to understanding the molecular biology of leukemia and lymphoma in the areas of epigenetic modification, gene expression, and disease specific abnormalities in leukemogenesis. Program members have also participated in studies to translate such observations into novel therapeutic approaches to leukemia and lymphoma. Active collaboration between HM investigators resulted in use of nanotechnology to develop novel therapeutic approaches to hematologic malignancies. Patient pathologic/clinical sample banks are established for acute leukemia, chronic lympocitic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma. HM program members continued with active participation in national cooperative groups, including ECOG and SWOG.

Between August, 2007 and July, 2012 were 457 publications from the current program members. During this period 109 (23.9%) of these publications represent intra-programmatic collaborations and 98 (21.4%) represent inter-programmatic collaborations.

Total current cancer relevant peer reviewed funding for the HM Program is $4,780,839 (direct) with $1,910,504 (direct) from NCI, and $2,870,335 (direct) from other peer reviewed sources. The RHLCCC provides additional resources that are necessary to ensure success of the program.

The goals of the Hematologic Malignancies Program are:

  1. To characterize normal hematopoiesis and define the genetic alterations associated with hematologic malignancies
  2. To identify molecular targets and evaluate the efficacy of novel therapeutic compounds