Wilmot Scientist Honored For Innovative Cancer Stem Cell Research

August 05, 2008

Craig Jordan, Ph.D., works with Siddhartha Seng, Ph.D., to develop new therapies for leukemia.

Leading cancer stem cell scientist Craig Jordan, Ph.D., of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, was recently named a Stohlmann Scholar by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for his outstanding leukemia research.

The Stohlman Scholars are named in memory of Frederick Stohlman Jr., M.D., a major figure in stem cell physiology and blood cell cancer research. Jordan is one of five scientists across the country to receive the prestigious designation and will be recognized during the Society’s Stohlman Scholar Scientific Symposium in November.

Jordan is director of Wilmot’s Translational Research for Hematologic Malignancies and associate professor of Biomedical Genetics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is also a leader of the Medical Center’s Cancer Stem Cell Research Program.

He leads research focused on myeloid leukemia stem cells, from which cancers derive and relapses evolve. Leukemia stem cells produce large numbers of blood tumor cells known as blast cells. Standard chemotherapy is not effective against leukemia stem cells, so his team is studying agents to effectively destroy the leukemia stem cells while sparing normal stem cells.

Most recently, his team has developed a compound that has been successful in destroying leukemia stem cells in laboratory models. This therapy will be studied in clinical trials later this year in England.

He studied molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He completed post-doctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted research for private pharmaceutical companies before joining the University of Kentucky Medical Center and then the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2003.

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