Dr. Druker is director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at Oregon Health & Science University, and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Upon graduating from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1981, Dr. Druker completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He then trained in oncology at Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Druker then returned to the lab to begin his research career studying the regulation of the growth of cancer cells and the practical application to cancer therapies. He developed 4G10, an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody that was an essential reagent to scientists at Novartis in their kinase inhibitor drug discovery program. In collaboration with Novartis, his laboratory performed pre-clinical studies that were instrumental to the development of Gleevec (imatinib), a drug that targets the molecular defect in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). After completing a series of preclinical studies, Dr. Druker spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib for CML. Imatinib is currently FDA approved for CML, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and five other cancers.
His role in the development of imatinib and its application in the clinic have resulted in numerous awards for Dr. Druker, including the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the Warren Alpert Prize from Harvard Medical School, the American Society of Hematology's Dameshek Prize, the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Pioneer of Survivorship Carpe Diem Award, the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor, the Kettering Prize from General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Robert-Koch Award, and the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2003, the American Association of Physicians in 2006, and the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.