Suzanne L. Topalian, M.D

Dr. Topalian received her medical degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She was a research fellow and then a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute, NIH. She joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006 to become the inaugural director of the Melanoma Program in the Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Topalian is a physician-scientist whose studies of human anti-tumor immunity have provided a foundation for the clinical development of cancer vaccines, adoptive T cell transfer, and immune-modulating monoclonal antibodies. Her current research focuses on manipulating “immune checkpoints” such as PD-1 in cancer therapy, discovering biomarkers predicting clinical outcomes, and developing effective treatment combinations. Dr. Topalian has received numerous awards for these contributions. She was named one of Nature’s 10 in 2014, received the Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2015, was elected to the American Association of Physicians in 2016, and received the 2016 Taubman Prize for landmark discoveries in immunotherapy. Her work has opened new avenues of scientific investigation in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and has established this treatment approach as a pillar of oncology.

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