SPORE Leadership

Dr. McDermott is Director of the Biologic Therapy and Cutaneous Oncology Programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is Leader of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Kidney Cancer Program and Principal Investigator of the NCI Kidney Cancer SPORE grant. Dr. McDermott is a clinical investigator with a particular interest in therapies that enhance the immune response to cancer. He has contributed to the rational application of interleukin-2 and immune check point inhibitors (CTLA-4, PD-1 antibodies) for renal cell carcinoma and melanoma. He has worked with anti-angiogenic agents and targeted therapeutics for these malignancies. He is Director of the Cytokine Working Group which has been a major innovator in the field of solid tumor immunotherapy. Dr. McDermott is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. McDermott earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, followed by residency in internal medicine and fellowship in hematology/oncology at Tufts/New England Medical Center. Dr. McDermott has served on the Program Committee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology as well as the Medical Advisory Board for the Kidney Cancer Association. He serves on the NCI Kidney Cancer Task Force.

William Kaelin is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he currently serves as Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He obtained his undergraduate and MD degrees from Duke University and completed his training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident. He was a clinical fellow in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and later a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Livingston, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar.

Dr. Kaelin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American College of Physicians. He recently served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, the AACR Board of Trustees, and the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Board. He is a recipient of the Paul Marks Prize for cancer research from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Prize from the AACR; a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist award; the 2010 Canada International Gairdner Award; ASCI’s Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award; the Scientific Grand Prix of the Foundation Lefoulon-Delalande; the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, and the Steven C. Beering Award.

A Howard Hughes Medical Investigator since 1998, Dr. Kaelin’s research seeks to understand how, mechanistically, mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer. His laboratory is currently focused on studies of the VHL, RB-1, and p53 tumor suppressor genes. His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of such proteins. His work on the VHL protein helped to motivate the eventual successful clinical testing of VEGF inhibitors for the treatment of kidney cancer. Moreover, this line of investigation led to new insights into how cells sense and respond to changes in oxygen, and thus has implications for diseases beyond cancer, such as anemia, myocardial infarction and stroke.