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Zev Wainberg, M.D.
Research performed at: UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Specialty/Research Area: Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer
Award Year: 2018
Career Summary: Dr. Wainberg is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of hematology/Oncology at UCLA. He is also a practicing physician in gastrointestinal oncology at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, as well as at Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. He is the Medical Director of the colorectal Cancer at UCLA and Director of the Early Phase Clinical Research Program of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) at UCLA. He received his M.D. from the Sackler School of Medicine in 200 and completed residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2003. He completed fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCLA in 2006. In addition to his STOP CANCER Award, Dr. Donahue has been the recipient on several NIH, DOD and CIRM funded grants.  

Year STOP CANCER Award was received: 2018 Fishman Family Seed Grant in memory of Martin Fishman

Description of research performed: Building on his background on targeted therapies in GI malignancies, Dr. Wainberg has designed several combination targeted therapies and immunotherapy trials in patients with colorectal cancer. These trials are designed to enhance the immune system’s response to recognize colon cancer malignant cells. 

Results of research: Because patients with colorectal cancer generally present relatively advanced symptoms, newer treatments are desperately needed. Dr. Wainberg’s laboratory and clinical research results have shown that certain subsets of colorectal cancer may respond to combinations of checkpoint inhibitors and CSF-1R inhibitors. These trials are leading to registration pathways in pancreatic, gastric and colorectal cancers. Dr. Wainberg works with several biotechnology companies to design these novel combination trials. He is also collaborating with the nanotechnology faculty at UCLA to develop a nanoparticle that can effectively reach the inside of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. 

STOP CANCER is committed to funding the most promising and innovative scientists in their early research of all forms of cancer prevention, treatment, cures and subsequent clinical applications. STOP CANCER works primarily with local National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and other qualified institutions in the United States to carry out its mission.

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