George D. Demetri, MD

My academic career has been devoted to applying novel insights from fundamental molecular biological and biochemical research to the problems of human cancer to develop rationally targeted anti-cancer therapeutics in an academic environment.

Our research program focuses heavily on translational and clinical science that will accelerate the development of novel experimental therapeutic agents targeting specific signaling pathways in molecularly defined subtypes of cancer, with a major focus on mesenchymal neoplasms and sarcomas.

Our most noteworthy successes have changed the standards of care for patients with sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), leading to the FDA and worldwide regulatory approval of imatinib (Gleevec in 2002), sunitinib (Sutent in 2006) and regorafenib (Stivarga in 2013) for GIST, as well as trabectedin (Yondelis outside the USA in 2007) and pazopanib (Votrient in 2012) for other sarcomas. The academic insights that we have developed in sarcomas are also highly relevant to translational and clinical investigation in more common forms of cancer, and our program is expanding across Harvard and the Broad Institute to build long-term research strategies to target cancers based on genomic, metabolomic and immunobiologic criteria of vulnerability based on defined molecular mechanisms.

In addition to serving as the co-director of the Ludwig Center, I am an associate director for clinical sciences at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center of Harvard University. Through these roles, I am able to link basic, translational and clinical research initiatives across multiple departments to bring together new collaborations focused on experimental therapeutics within the Ludwig Cancer Research community.


  • MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, 1983
  • AB, Biochemical Sciences, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1978


  • Rotary International Fellowship, École de Médecine, Biochemistry and Endocrinology, Université de Besançon, France, 1978
  • Robert S. Evans Award in Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, 1986
  • Bristol-Myers Oncology Basic Research Grant Award, 1988-91
  • American Cancer Society Career Development Award, 1992-95
  • Johnson and Johnson Foundation Focused Giving Award, 1993-96
  • Emil J. Freireich Award in Clinical Cancer Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2002
  • Sarcoma Foundation of America, Nobility in Science Award, 2003
  • Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Research Award, DFCI, 2004
  • Tisch Family Outstanding Achievement Award, DFCI, 2004
  • Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine, 2009
  • Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award for Developmental Therapeutics, 2010

For a complete list of George D. Demetri's publications, click here.