Director, Ludwig Center at Harvard
Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Dr. George Demetri received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, followed by a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do research at the Université de Besancon, France, after which he received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA. After completing Internal Medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle, Washington, he pursued a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School, where he has served as an attending physician since 1989. Dr. Demetri and colleagues at Harvard have developed a large research-focused multidisciplinary center of excellence for sarcoma patients at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, supporting a number of translational and clinical research projects in genomically-defined subsets of sarcomas.
Dr. Demetri’s research and clinical interests have focused on mechanism-based drug development for solid tumors, with a particular emphasis on molecularly-defined subsets of sarcomas such as Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). Work from the multidisciplinary team at Dana-Farber/Harvard has contributed to the development of several new drugs for sarcomas and other malignancies, including imatinib (Gleevec), sunitinib (Sutent), dasatinib (Sprycel), trabectedin (Yondelis), pazopanib (Votrient) and other new targeted therapies in development; in addition, as the medical oncologist on the scientific advisory board of Plexxikon, he was instrumental in the discovery and development of vemurafenib (Zelboraf).Dr Demetri serves as co-chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Sarcoma Foundation of America as well as several scientific and editorial advisory boards. With an interest in internet-based medical and social network technologies, he is developing a novel web-based rapid learning community for sarcomas within CancerCommons.org.