Research in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology

The Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology oversees a significant research program, in which we study and create novel treatments for blood disorders, diseases of the blood-forming organs, and cancer. Our goal is to reduce the risk of these disorders around the world and to improve the life of each patient through basic, clinical, and translational research.

Researchers from our division enjoy substantial support from the National Institutes of Health, including Special Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants for breast cancer. In addition, many of our faculty members have appointments at and/or work closely with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center the only center in Northern California to receive the prestigious designation of “comprehensive” from the National Cancer Institute. The center ranks first in California and sixth nationwide in National Cancer Institute research grants.

Cancer Immunotherapy

Lawrence Fong, MD: Dr. Fong's research program focuses on the immune recognition of tumors and is developing different immune-based treatments for cancer.

Fong Lab

Basic Science Research Labs

Breast Cancer

  • Andrei Goga, MD, PhD: By delivering insights into the process of cell cycle regulation and oncogene and microRNA function – especially how cancer signaling pathways are activated in breast and liver cancers – Dr. Goga hopes to develop new anti-cancer therapeutics that may selectively inhibit cancer signaling pathways.
  • Mark Moasser, MD: As cancer research has focused on the role of tyrone kinases in cancer, Dr. Moasser’s research seeks to develop rational hypotheses for the use of such inhibitors in specific cancer subtypes, to develop specific combinations to enhance their efficacies, and to understand mechanisms by which cancers escape or acquire resistance to such targeted therapies.
  • Pamela Munster, MD: Dr. Munster’s lab studies epigenetic modulation of therapy resistance, with a focus on improving treatments for breast and other cancers.
  • John Park, MD: Dr. Park’s team is using targeting and nanoparticle technologies to develop novel approaches to cancer treatment. They are also studying new cellular and molecular biomarkers in breast and other cancers.

Genitourinary Cancer

  • Rohit Bose, MD

Gastrointestinal Oncology

Hereditary Cancer


  • Jay Levy, MD: Dr. Levy's research focuses on the role of immune responses in HIV infection and how that understanding can help in the development of immune-based therapies and an effective AIDS vaccine.

Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Multiple Myeloma

  • Karin Gaensler, MD: The research program in the Gaensler laboratory focuses on the application of genetic engineering strategies for the treatment of hematologic disorders, development of stem cell transplantation approaches, and for design of immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia.
  • Aaron Logan, MD, PhD
  • James Rubenstein, MD, PhD
  • Neil Shah, MD, PhD: Dr. Shah's translational research seeks to exploit molecular understanding of disease pathogenesis, as well as resistance mechanisms to therapy, toward the development of new effective targeted therapeutics for hematologic malignancies, and a better understanding of disease biology.
  • Cathy Smith, MD