Razelle Kurzrock, MD

Sr. Deputy Center Director

Clinical Cancer Teams

Research Statement

Razelle Kurzrock serves as Chair of the Early Therapeutics and Rare Cancers Committee. I have considerable experience in phase I clinical trials, precision oncology and I direct a Rare Tumor Clinic. In November 2012, I assumed the position of Senior Deputy Director, and Director of the Clinical Trials Office and the Center of Personalized Cancer Therapy for UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. I also assumed the position of Chief of the UCSD Division of Hematology Oncology on July 1, 2014. Previously, I served as Professor and Chair for the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program) and held the Anderson Clinical Faculty Chair for Cancer Treatment and Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I founded this department in 2004 and at my departure it was the largest Phase I clinical trials program in the world, with 130 therapeutic protocols and 34 correlative protocols using many of the best new drugs (accrual ~ 1300 patients per year). The department emphasized molecular characterization of each patient’s tumor and personalized therapy in the Phase I setting. I also created and directed two unique training programs in clinical trials research: the MS/PhD program (degree granting) in Patient-Based Biological Research (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston) and the Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Fellowship Program. The overarching objective of these novel programs was to provide a rigorous training curriculum for post-graduates interested in clinical and translational research. At UCSD, I have created a new (non-ACGME accredited) fellowship in Personalized Cancer Therapy. In addition to contributions to mentoring and education, I have been the PI on over 90 clinical trials involving novel biologic or targeted agents, and have overseen over 500 trials (between experience at MD Anderson and at UCSD), with eight Phase I drugs studied in the last few years that have gone on to FDA approval. I have also supervised a highly successful basic/translational research program (producing almost 700 peer-reviewed papers). I have a Google Scholar H-Index of 101, with 41,586 citations. I am the recipient of numerous clinical research related awards and multiple grants, and was the PI of the NCI U01 grant “Phase I Studies of Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapies” for almost a decade at MD Anderson. I have also been the Co-PI (MD Anderson PI) of the University of Texas Health Science Center CTSA grant that was funded in 2006 (~35 million dollars). In 2010, I assumed the role of Chair of the Early Therapeutics and Rare Cancers Committee for SWOG, and I am a member of the SWOG Board of Governors and serve as a co-PI for DART, which is the SWOG national immunotherapy trial for rare cancers, now open at almost 700 sites. I serve on the Executive Directorate Board for the Worldwide Innovative Network for Personalized Cancer Therapy and on the NCCN Board of Directors. I am the head of the Clinical Trials Committee and the Investigational Steering Committee, respectively, for each of these organizations. My interests are in rare tumors, precision medicine, early phase clinical trials, and the marriage between genomics and immunotherapy.