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Welcome and Overview

David Brenner, MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine & Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, Moores Cancer Center

15 minutes
David Brenner, Thomas Kipps


David Brenner is vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. In this role, he leads the School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, San Diego, and UC San Diego Health System. Dr. Brenner has oversight of more than 900 faculty physicians, pharmacists and scientists; 7,500 staff; more than 600 medical and pharmacy students, and a health system that cares for approximately 125,000 patients annually.

A distinguished physician-scientist and leader in the field of gastroenterological research, Dr. Brenner first joined UC San Diego in 1985 as a gastroenterology fellow, later joining the School of Medicine faculty, and serving as a physician at the Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Healthcare System. He also served as a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and a Clinical Investigator in the VA system. In 1993, Dr. Brenner became professor and chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continued to earn accolades for his patient care and research. He was ultimately recruited to UC San Diego from the Columbia University Medical Center College of Physicians and Surgeons, where from 2003 to 2007 he was Samuel Bard Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, a member of the Columbia University Institute of Nutrition, and physician-in-chief of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

Dr. Brenner’s professional memberships include the American Society for Clinical Investigation; the Association of American Physicians, for which he is the president, the American College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He is also on the board of directors of two philanthropic foundations, the AlphaOne Foundation and the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation. Dr. Brenner has also been published numerous times and serves on several editorial boards.

He earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. After completing his residency at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, he served as a research associate in the Genetics and Biochemistry Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).



Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and Interim Director of the Moores Cancer Center. A major focus of his laboratory group is the immunobiology and genetics of human B-cell malignancies, with emphasis on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Study on CLL cells serially collected from patients at time points before therapy, during therapy, or after relapse from therapy allows for investigation of the genetic and biologic features associated with tumor progression, therapeutic response, or resistance to therapy. Discovery of features that distinguish CLL from their normal cell counterparts has helped identify new targets for therapy and/or define surrogate markers associated with more rapid rates of cancer progression or resistance to standard therapy. These studies are integrated with a clinical investigative program that attracts patients seeking improved modalities of treatment for CLL. From this, we have identified molecular markers that can segregate patients into subgroups that have different risks for disease-progression or different probabilities of response to conventional treatment. This also has allowed for testing the safety and relative efficacy of novel agents developed for treatment of all patients with CLL or subgroups of patients hypothesized to have the best potential response to novel forms of therapy. Because CLL cells can be harvested from the blood, it is possible to study primary tumor cells obtained from patients during the course of therapy. This is allowing us to test whether novel targeted therapies are hitting their intended target and whether this is associated with a clinical response to therapy. To further these efforts on a national scale, Dr. Kipps has organized and leads the CLL Research Consortium that is comprised of leading CLL investigators at the major cancer centers across the country and abroad.

As interim director, Dr. Kipps is working to further integrate basic and translational research investigators at the Moores Cancer Center with clinical Investigators, epidemiologists, and physicians offering state-of-the art therapies for patients with other types of cancer. A major goal of this effort is to develop Centers of Excellence (CoE) in various cancer types. It is projected that each CoE will attract patients and researchers from across the country who are seeking out the best program in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.