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Biao Luo Appointed Director of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Institute for Personalized Medicine

PHILADELPHIA (July 30, 2009) — Fox Chase Cancer Center has recruited Biao Luo, PhD, to be the director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine (IPM), a program that aims to match emerging targeted drug therapies to the unique genetic profiles of individual patient tumors. Luo joins Fox Chase from the prestigious Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where he led the development and applications of advanced genetic screening technologies.

Luo will also have an appointment as research assistant professor in Fox Chase's Cancer Genetics and Signaling Program.  He will join the staff at Fox Chase in September.

“Luo is a talented researcher, who has demonstrated a wealth of skill, knowledge, and creativity in the application of molecular genetic technology to important biological problems,” says Jeff Boyd, PhD, Fox Chase's chief scientific officer. “Primarily, he will oversee the operations of the Institute for Personalized Medicine, but we already anticipate that he will become an invaluable collaborator amongst our research faculty."

Luo received his PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard in 1998, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He joined the Broad Institute in 2004 as a group leader in the institute's RNAi Consortium, which uses “small-hairpin RNA” technology to silence the effects of specific genes in order to study their function.

As the director of the IPM, Luo will utilize his expertise in cancer genomics to characterize the unique genetic profiles of individual cancer patient samples in Fox Chase's Biosample Repository.  Fox Chase will use this information to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments through collaboration with its highly regarded Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program, which tests a broad spectrum of novel cancer therapeutics in patients with advanced cancer.  The genetic information to be gathered about individual patient tumors offers the possibility of a revolution in the way cancer treatments are selected for patients in all cancer clinical trials, including Phase 1.

In addition to his duties directing the IPM, Luo will continue his research into the characterization of potential oncogenic pathways discovered from structural and functional genomic studies.  According to Luo, his research may shed light on the important signaling systems regulating cell growth and cancer development.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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